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Genetics, Genomics, and Epigenetics

The interrelated fields of Genetics, Genomics, and Epigenetics study the mechanisms of heredity. We span the breadth of genetic research approaches, from classical genetic methods that address gene function and trait variation by focusing on individual genes to genomics approaches that study organismal genomes in their entirety. Our research group also has strong interests in the field of epigenetics, a mechanism that regulates gene expression in a heritable way without changing the DNA sequence. Progress in medicine, agriculture, forensic science, and biotechnology is fueled by our growing knowledge of genetic and epigenetic mechanisms.

Members of the Genetics, Genomics, and Epigenetics group study the genetic/ epigenetic basis of interrelated aspects of organismal development, behavior, physiology, speciation, and evolution. Research questions focus on understanding how germline development and gamete formation are regulated, how chromatin remodeling occurs during development, how plant physiological responses are controlled, how genetic changes lead to speciation or mediate sexual selection, and how development of the vertebrate nervous system is regulated. We use a wide range of model and non-model organisms and conduct our studies in the laboratory and field.