More than 60% of earth’s terrestrial surface is managed by humans as agriculture, pasture, or urbanized areas, and land conversion continues to be the primary driver of global biodiversity loss. Despite this, little is known about the impacts of land management on multi-species interactions, gene flow, and ecosystem function. The Jha Lab investigates ecological and evolutionary processes from genes to landscapes, to quantify global change impacts on plant-animal interactions, movement ecology, and the provisioning of ecosystem services.
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Genetics and Genomics
In every growing cell, the DNA replication and transcription machineries are routinely in conflict with each other. Replication-transcription conflicts have various negative outcomes, including slowing of DNA replication forks, and breaks in the DNA. Survival, despite the existence of conflicts, depends on essential conflict resolution factors that all organisms harbor. In this seminar, I will highlight some of the new insights we have gained regarding the multi-faceted effects of these encounters on key parameters of cellular function.
Our research is aimed at understanding the development and evolution of the nervous system. We focus on the visual system of insects, particularly at the level of how cell fates are specified. Changes to the number and types of neurons animals produce can be adaptive, allowing for expanded color vision in butterflies or providing more sensitive target detection for male flies that chase their mates.