Office Address

1500 Gortner Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55108
United States



Associate Professor
Ecology, Evolution and Behavior,
Plant and Microbial Biology

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Research statement

We are dedicated to understanding the origin, diversity, distribution of, and evolutionary forces active within, the flowering plants. Our group is fundamentally integrative, synthesizing genomic, theoretical, phylogenetic, comparative, molecular and field work to address these biological questions. We use genomic data to understand the history of divergence, adaptation, introgression and biogeography, and to aid in pant breeding and domestication. We use large-scale comparative analyses to reveal the major drivers of species diversity, phenotypic variation, and reproductive isolation in the flowering plants. We complement these genomic and comparative inferences with both functional analyses of the genetic and ecological bases of reproductive isolation, and basic population genomic theory to generate hypotheses and novel inference methods. 
I encourage students, postdocs, and collaborators with a deep curiosity and interest in speciation, introgression, plant mating system evolution, and/or genomic conflicts and who are unafraid of maths, computers, pipettes and plants in their native range and are who are interested in a collegial and collaborative environment to contact me. 

Selected publications

Blackmon H. & Y Brandvain. 2017. Long-term fragility of Y chromosomes is dominated by short-term resolution of sexual antagonism. Genetics 207: 1621-1629. 

Schumer M & Y Brandvain. 2016. Determining epistatic selection in admixed populations. 2016. Molecular Ecology 25: 2577-2591

Grossenbacher D, R Briscoe Runquist, EE Goldberg & Y Brandvain. 2015. Geographic range size is predicted by plant mating system. Ecology Letters 18: 706–713 

Brandvain Y, AM Kenney, L Flagel, G Coop & AL Sweigart. 2014. Speciation and Introgression between Mimulus nasutus and Mimulus guttatus. PLoS Genetics 10: e1004410 

Turelli M, JR Lipkowitz & Y Brandvain. 2014. On the Coyne and Orr‐igin of species: Effects of intrinsic postzygotic isolation, ecological differentiation, X chromosome size, and sympatry on Drosophila speciation. Evolution 68: 1176-1187


  • BA. College of the Atlantic. 2004 
  • PhD. Indiana University. 2010 
  • NSF Postdoctoral Fellow. University of California Davis. 2010 - 2013