Ichthyology (Leo Smith): Macroevolution and phylogenetics of venomous, coral-reef, and deep-sea fishes. These genetic and genomic studies allow us to explore a wide spectrum of questions including the evolution of envenomed or bioluminescent structures, the consequences of evolving biofluorescence, and the transcriptomics of venoms using Sanger and next-generation techniques.
Ornithology (Rob Moyle): NSF funded project to study suboscine bird relationships using target capture with ultraconserved elements (UCEs) and enrichment with Illumina sequencing. The taxonomic scope of our UCE work is expected to expand over the next couple of years. A variety of RADSeq projects examining phylogeography, gene flow, and hybrid zones in Fiji, the Philippines, and the American Southwest.
Herpetology (Rich Glor): Experimental genetics and genomics of speciation in Anolis lizards. We have conducted extensive work on a highly polymorphic anole species complex, including characterization of phenotypic differentiation, adaptation, heritability and gene flow across numerous hybrid zones in nature (Ng et al. 2013, Lambert et al. 2013, Ng et al. 2012, Glor and Laport 2012) . We have just completed our first multi-generation cross experiment that has produced over 1,000 progeny from F1 and backcrosses between two incipient species with dramatically different ecologies and dewlap colors. These offspring are now available for genomic analyses, including generation of a whole genome linkage map and QTL work investigating the genetic basis for species differentiation. In the winter of 2013 we are obtaining additional samples from nature to conduct an RNAseq experiment that will be used to characterize genomic differentiation and introgression across a hybrid zone between these same populations in nature.
Herpetology (Rafe Brown): We are currently are using the ultraconserved element strategy for target capture on two projects involving attempts to resolve stubborn polytomies in gekkonid lizards (Brown et al. 2012) and microhylid frogs (Blackburn et al. 2013). An additional UCE project targets problematic species boundaries in monitor lizards and several students are employing RADSeq for phylogeography and conservation genetics projects with widespread complexes of skinks and geckos.
Entomology (Andrew Short): Diversification patterns and processes across ecologically variable lineages of aquatic beetles. We use molecular sequence data to investigate phylogenetic and phylogeographic patterns in clades of beetles that have diversified across a range of macroecologies along the aquatic-terrestrial habitat axis (Short & Fikacek 2013). We are interested in both 1) understanding how major changes in habitat affect diversification rates, and 2) uncovering the mechanisms that govern the differential rate patterns that we observe.