We at the Jones Lab are interested in the evolution and underlying genetics of species-specific adaptations. Although this knowledge is critical to biologists’ understanding of phenotypic evolution, surprisingly little about the molecular basis of these complex traits has been uncovered. The Jones Lab’s overall goal is to identify, clone, and characterize genes involved in natural adaptations. Through this work, we seek to determine the types of genes involved in adaptation, their abundance throughout the genome, the consequences of their expression, and the evolutionary history of their origin.
We are also interested in developing new methods relevant to the study of evolutionary genomics including theoretical, bioinformatic, and statistical approaches. This particular research falls into three areas: (1) developing novel methods for assembling genomes using high-throughput DNA sequencing, (2) examining spatial patterns of DNA sequence evolution, and (3) detecting genetic changes due to natural selection.
Our choice model organisms are members of the genus Drosophila and we utilize several different species in our projects.