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Lex Flagel

Adjunct Faculty


Google Scholar Profile

Curriculum Vitae


B.S., University of Minnesota, 2003
Ph.D., Iowa State University, 2009

Research Statement

I am an adjunct professor in the Plant and Microbial Biology Department at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. In addition, I am also a research scientist and leader of the Quantitative Genetics team at Monsanto Company. At Monsanto my work is focused on two areas, understanding how insects evolve resistance to Bt toxins and finding new ways to improve crop yields. In both areas my team and I use genomic technologies to create large amounts of data, and computational and statistical approaches to gain insights and make decisions. Beyond these research pursuits, I am also engaged in helping undergraduates, graduate students, and post-docs explore diverse career opportunities. In this regard, I chair the Diverse Careers Workshop annually at the Evolution Meetings.


Flagel L., Y.W. Lee, H. Wanjugi, S. Swarup, A. Brown, J. Wang, E. Kraft, J. Greenplate, J. Simmons, N. Adams, Y. Wang, S. Martinelli, J.A. Haas, A. Gowda, G. Head. 2018. Mutational disruption of the ABCC2 gene in fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda, confers resistance to the Cry1Fa and Cry1A.105 insecticidal proteins. 2018. Scientific Reports 8: 7255. 

Flagel L., Y. Brandvain, and D. Schrider. 2018. The unreasonable effectiveness of convolutional neural networks in population genetic inference. Bioaxiv.

Flagel L., B.K. Blackman, L. Fishman, P.J. Monnahan, A. Sweigart, J.K. Kelly. 2018. A synthesis of mapping experiments reveals extensive genomic structural diversity in the Mimulus guttatus species complex. Bioaxiv.

McGaugh, S.E., A.M. Bronikowski, C.H. Kuo, D.M. Redding, E.A. Addis, L.E. Flagel, F.J. Janzen, and T.S. Schwartz. 2015. Rapid molecular evolution across amniotes of the IIS/TOR network. PNAS. 112: 7055-7060.

Sweigart, A.L. and L.E. Flagel. 2015. Evidence of natural selection acting on a polymorphic hybrid incompatibility locus in Mimulus. Genetics. 199: 543-554.

Flagel L.E., S. Swarup, M. Chen, C. Bauer, H. Wanjugi, M. Carroll, P. Hill, M. Tuscan, R. Bansal, R. Flannagan, T. Clark, A.P. Michel, G.P. Head, and B.S. Goldman. 2015. Genetic markers for Western Corn Rootworm resistance to Bt toxin. G3. 5: 399-405.

Brandvain Y., A Kenney, L. Flagel, G. Coop, and A. Sweigart. 2014. Speciation and introgression between Mimulus nasutus and Mimulus guttatus. PloS Genetics. 10: e1004410.

Flagel L., J. Willis, T. Vision. 2014. The standing pool of genomic structural variation in a natural population of Mimulus guttatus. Genome Biology and Evolution. 6: 53-64.


358 Biological Sciences Center
1445 Gortner Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55108