Research Interests: evolutionary genomics, genome assembly and annotation, bioinformatics
My dissertation research utilizes the parasitic wasp genus Diachasma to investigate the formation and evolutionary trajectories of new species. A major objective is the characterization of genomic molecular evolution in Diachasma as a consequence of loss of sexual reproduction. I am evaluating the composition and evolution of genes important for sexual processes (e.g. meiosis genes) in Diachasma, as well as designing a bioinformatic pipeline for genome-wide comparisons of molecular evolution in sexual and asexual wasps. The production of genome assemblies will serve as important resources to study additional questions regarding wasp biology and natural history.
In addition, I have an advisory role in the assembly and annotation of several earthworm genomes. Ongoing research includes the application of phylogenomics approaches to examine the evolutionary history of Annelida and identify potential targets for adaptive evolution in earthworms.