University of Toronto
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Welcome to my webpage! I study the ecological genetics of wild plants. Understanding how and why heritable, ecologically important traits vary across the landscape is an integral part of the biology of these amazingly diverse organisms. Equally important, it allows us a deeper understanding of their capacity to adapt to rapid environmental changes.
In my recent PhD work at Cornell University, I studied plant local adaptation at both regional and local scales. In the California wildflower Clarkia xantiana, I examined the relationship between genetic differentiation between populations and the formation geographic range boundaries. In the temperate grass Anthoxanthum odoratum, I examined local adaptation to a common environmental stressor, soil aluminum toxicity. In the latter, I have used transcriptomic approaches to discover the genes underlying local adaptation that has rapidly evolved at the historic long-term Park Grass Experiment as well as in the plant’s introduced range in North America. I am currently looking at local adaptation from a genome-wide perspective in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana as a post-doc in Dr. John Stinchcombe’s lab at the University of Toronto.