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Evolution & Systematics

History repeats itself: Using evolutionary convergence to reveal adaptations and genome-wide functional networks

Life is in a constant state of revision in response to evolutionary pressures such as environmental change. In the Clark lab we seek to understand these adaptive changes by studying evolutionary signatures in genes and regulatory sequences. Our computational methods leverage convergent evolution, in which independent phylogenetic lineages evolve the same phenotype, to discover the genetic changes underlying specific adaptations.

Evolution and ecology of cold-specialized insects in the Cascades Range

Montane ecosystems of the Cascades Range provide a simple, naturally replicated system to test a wide range of evolutionary and ecological processes, from the origin of cold-specialized species to the role of ecological diversification in community assembly. My research focuses on groups of insects that are dispersal limited microhabitat specialists of snowfield and riparian ecosystems. Based on extensive sampling and genetic data, I discuss biogeographic models that explain the origin, current distribution and pattern of endemism in these insects.

Color, structure and evolution of avian eggs: A multidisciplinary approach

Avian eggs are remarkably varied in their color, pattern, shape, size and ultrastructure. What evolutionary forces have affected their appearance and form? Using a multidisciplinary approach, I will explore the phenotypic diversity of avian eggs from functional and mechanistic perspectives, focusing on cuckoo egg mimicry, speckled songbird eggs, shorebird egg camouflage and nano-scale shell structure.

ANISEED 2015: a digital framework for the comparative developmental biology of ascidians.

Brozovic M, Martin C, Dantec C, Dauga D, Mendez M, Simion P, Percher M, Laporte B, Scornavacca C, Di Gregorio A et al..  2016.  ANISEED 2015: a digital framework for the comparative developmental biology of ascidians.. Nucleic acids research. 44(D1):D808-18.

Phylogenetic insights into the correlates of dioecy in meadow-rues (Thalictrum, Ranunculaceae)

Soza VL, Brunet J, Liston A, Salles Smith P, Di Stilio VS.  2012.  Phylogenetic insights into the correlates of dioecy in meadow-rues (Thalictrum, Ranunculaceae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 63(1):180-192.

Molecular systematics of tribe Rubieae (Rubiaceae): evolution of major clades, development of leaf-like whorls, and biogeography

Soza VL, Olmstead RG.  2010.  Molecular systematics of tribe Rubieae (Rubiaceae): evolution of major clades, development of leaf-like whorls, and biogeography. Taxon. 59(3):755-771.

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