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Current Lab Members

Graduate Students

Derek Nedveck
Derek is working on local adaptation in legume-rhizobia symbisosis in Minnesota populations of Lotus

Amanda Gorton (co-advised with David Moeller)
Amanda is investigating the factors that shape the scale of local adaptation, using urban and rural populations of ragweed as an empirical system

Joseph Guihlin 
Joseph joined the lab with extensive computational experience and expertise.  He has been providing informatics support fot the Medicago HapMap project while working on a dissertation that integrates development of computational tools, the role of copy number variation in phenotypic variation in Medicago, and the population genomics of Sinorhizobia.


Liana Burghardt
Liana is investigating the extent of and links between genomic, transcriptomic, and phenotypic variation in both Medicago and Ensifer symbionts.  She has recently been using an economical, effective, and high-throughput assay of bacteria living in multi-strain communitiies in ecologically realistic environments in order to estimate fitness, selection, and the genomic basis of this variation.  .  She earned her PhD working with Kathleen Donohue. 

Brendan Epstein
Brendan is back in the lab after spending a couple of years as a post-doc with Andrew Srofer at WSU.  He has been contributing to various projects by analyzing genomic and transcriptomic data and has been exploring the performance of GWAS in bacteria, a system in which such analyses are challanging due to heterogeneity in genome contents as well as long-distance linkage-disequilibrium.

Courney Passow 
Courtney is a UMN College of Biological Sciences Grand Challenges in Biology Post-doctoral Fellow working with Suzanne McGaugh (mostly) and myself.  Her work is integrating coexpression networks and popualtion genetics to understand evolution an dadaptation in utrient and light-poor environments, using Astyanax mexicanus as a model.


Former Members

Former Post-docs

Jeremy Yoder - currently Assistant Professor California State University Northridge
Jeremy mostly focused on using genomic data to understand local adaptation and the evolution and population genetics of symbiotic interactions.  While in the lab he also was involved in using association genetics to identify targets of local adaptation, investigated the phylogenomics of the genus.  In addition to his biology-related research, Jeremy was active in research to understand the participation and experience of LGBTQ in STEM.  He also was (and still is) active in communicating science (and related issues) through to non-scientists.

John Stanton-Geddes - currently a data analyst in the private sector.
John worked on sequence-based GWAS analyses as well as the potential for using hihg-density markers to estimate heritability in natural populations.  

Timothy Paape - currently a post-doc at University of Zurich
Tim worked on population genomics (recombination, selection) and association genetics in Medicago.

Antoine Branca - Maître de conférences (Assistant Professor), Université Paris 11, Orsay
Antoine worked on population genomics of Medicago and Sinorhizobia.

Stephen Keller - Assistant Professor, University of Vermont
Steve used population genetic approaches to investigate the demographic history and local adaptation in balsam poplar.

Maurine Neiman - Associate Professor, Department of Biology, Univirsity of Iowa
Maurine  spent a year in my lab investigating the molecular evolution and population genetics of protease inhibitor genes in Poplar.

Jennifer Lau - Associate Professor of Plant Biology, Michigan State University, Kellogg Biological Station
Jen collaborated on research investigating potential evolutionary impacts of increasing concentrations of atmospheric CO2 concentrations.

David Moeller - Associate Professor, Department of Plant Biology, University of Minnesota
Dave collaborated on research investigating the molecular evolution of plant immunity genes and characterizing the population structure of teosinte (Zea mays ssp. parviglumis) and was the lead on work investigating the ecological and evolutionary limits of species range expansion.

Former Graduate Students

Mohamed Yakub -- currently the Outreach and Education Coordinator for the Stakman-Borlaug Center for Sustainable Plant Health.       As a graduate student Mo investigated the how urban environments affect evolution of plant populations.  While a student Mo was a co-founder of Market Science (I serve as faculty advisor), a highly successful outreach program which for the past couple of years has been bringing hands-on science activities to a local farmers markets  

Brendan Epstein (co-advised with Mike Sadowsky) -- he's back and currently working with me as a post-doc.
Brendan is investigating the population genomics of rhizobia.  In addition to standard SNP-based surveys of diversity he is currently exploring the evolutionary history of duplications and horizontally-transferred genes. 

John Stanton-Geddes (coadvised by Ruth Shaw) -- data analyst in the private sector
John's dissertation investigated the ecological genetics of habitat specialization and range limitations.

Katy Heath - Associate Professor, Department of Plant Biology University of Illinois
Katy's dissertation research investigated evolutionary forces that may maintain genetic variation in the Medicago-Sinorhizobia symbiosis.

Laurie Stone - MS (coadvised by Ruth Shaw)

Peter Tiffin
612 624-7406

Dept. of Plant Biology
Univ. of Minnesota
250 Biosciences
St. Paul, MN 55108

Graduate Faculty:
Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior, and Plant Biology