Our Laboratory of Evolutionary & Population Genomics


I work on the population and evolutionary genomics of animals (lamprey, fish, mouse and humans) and plants, as well as increasingly in genetic epidemiology. My primary research interest is in how genomes evolve, and how we can use genomic information to infer what is happening to individuals (e.g. genetic epidemiology of metabolic disorders), populations (e.g. Conservation Genetics) and genomes. I do this work both at my home institution (UofW), as well as in collaboration with researchers at the University of Manitoba, the Hospital for Sick Children, and others.

What we do:

We perform experimental and bioinformatics analyses to study gene evolution in humans, other vertebrates and plants. My current research projects are focused on the evolution of vertebrate genomes using both bioinformatic (ancestral genome reconstructions, syntenic and phylogenetic analyses) and experimental approaches (e.g. transcriptomic analyses) approaches 2) the role of Insulin like peptide 5 in metabolism, immunity and disease using Japanese medaka, mouse and human cell lines as models and 3) genetic epidemiological approaches to understanding Type 1 Diabetes and Autism. Earlier in my career I focused on 1) the micro and macro-evolutionary forces influencing self-incompatibility systems in plants, 2) Conservation Genetics and 3) orchard design and flower management in apples. I still do some work in this area via collaborations, particularly with Miriam Ferrer at UADY, Mexico.


Current work and collaborations include:

- The evolution of Insulin and insulin -like peptides and their receptors in deuterostomes

- The function of insulin like peptide 5 (INSL5) in the immune system using fish, human and mouse cell line models

- Using transcriptome imputation to understanding diseases such as Type 1 diabetes and autism, - work in collaboration with Dr. A Paterson (The Hospital for Sick Children) and X. Liu (University of Manitoba).

- Transcriptomic analysis of gonad development in lamprey - work in collaboration with Dr. Margaret Docker (University of Manitoba)

- Population Genomic analyses of the people of Kazakhsta (work in Collaboration with Elmira Khussainova, (IGGC, Almaty, Kazakhstan)

Our work is funded by: