Mechanisms of adaptation to changing environments

Members of my lab group conduct laboratory, greenhouse, and field studies integrating evolution, genetics, genomics, and ecology. Our goal is to attack problems at the interface of these areas in novel ways. 

What’s New

  • Congrats to Amanda for successfully defending her Ph.D thesis and Ava for passing her oral comps!
  • Ava and Jeff had a great time presenting our work and learning a whole lot about “Quantitative Genetics in the Wild” at the American Genetics Association Presidential Symposium; thanks to Anne Bronikowski and John Stinchcombe for organizing it!
  • Seven members of the Conner and Shiu labs spent a Sunday planting our spring single- and double-knockout experiment.  They will go in the field soon, and fitness measurements on the fall planting will begin any day now.
  • Jeff’s Bibliography of Field Studies of Natural Selection is now up on the Oxford University press site (link).
  • Our high-molecular weight DNA is at the Delaware facility for PacBio sequencing; the MSU RTSF will do Illumina to produce the Raphanus reference genome.
  • Along with our KBS colleagues Kay Gross and the Sarahs (Evans and Fitzpatrick) we received an NSF FSML grant for improvements to our new Molecular Ecology and Genomics (MEG) lab.
  • The Methods in Ecology and Evolution Special Issue on measuring natural selection that Jeff edited with John Stinchcombe and Joanna Kelley is here.
  • Cool results from our REU Daijah Scott from NC A&T working with Ava: gibberellic acid application causes native radish to flower earlier and reduce rosettes like weedy radish


A Primer of Ecological Genetics

by Jeffrey K. Conner and Daniel L. Hartl

“Your new Primer of Ecological Genetics is absolutely terrific, and I plan on making it required reading for graduate students in my lab and for other graduate students on whose committees I serve. Your book is bound to go a long way in clearing up fuzzy thinking about basic concepts at the interface of evolution and ecology. Just as importantly, I think your book will result in much better experimental design — and much clearer discussion of results — in future dissertations and the papers that result from them.”    — John N. Thompson, University of California at Santa Cruz

I find that this volume will be very useful for both inspired undergraduates who plan on initiating honors studies or independent research, and for beginning graduate students. . . . This primer will help young biologists learn the nuts and bolts of ecological genetics, as well as its practical application.    — Jeffry B. Mitton, The Quarterly Review of Biology

Until now, a textbook aimed at undergraduates and early postgraduates, which integrates both population and quantitative genetics, has been lacking. In six chapters, Conner and Hartl have successfully filled this gap… The well-planned structure, easy reading style and extensive coverage make this book valuable not only to undergraduate students but also for population and quantitative geneticists aiming to expand their scope of their own research.    — JM Cano Arias, Heredity

In sum, A Primer of Ecological Genetics provides a lucid introduction to foundational principles in the field. In their preface, Conner and Hartl state, The guiding principle of the book is to focus on clear explanations of the key concepts in the evolution of natural and managed populations. The first edition of A Primer of Ecological Genetics accomplishes this nicely. I recommend it with enthusiasm.    — Mark C. Ungerer, BioScience