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Terry Grande

Professor, Graduate Program Director

Disciplines

  • Biology

Research Interests

  • My research focuses on understanding the evolutionary relationships and historical biogeography of teleost fishes using morphology, paleontology, molecular biology as data sources. A group called the Ostariophysi has been the focus of my work because of its importance both economically and scientifically. It is a group consisting of over 75% of all freshwater fish species, it has a world wide geographic distribution and an fossil record dating to the Early Cretaceous (over 60 million years). An understanding of this group is central to an understanding of fish evolution in general.

Heather Wheeler

Professor

Disciplines

  • Biology
  • Computer Sciences

Research Interests

  • Genome-wide analyses of the past few years have revealed that a substantial portion of the genetic control of complex traits is exerted through the regulation of gene expression. Much of the genetic variation associated with complex traits falls outside the protein coding regions of genes. Mechanistic understanding of how this variation contributes to phenotype is lacking, but gene regulation is thought to play a major role. We develop and apply methods that fully harness gene regulation within complex trait association and prediction studies.

Sushma Reddy

Assistant Professor

Disciplines

  • Biology

Research Interests

  • My research covers a broad range of topics related to evolution and genetics, primarily using birds as the subject. To date, these subjects include molecular evolution, phylogenetics, biogeography, diversification, patterns of diversity, and conservation. In terms of evolutionary genetics, my research scope includes divergences within species groups to the entire class Aves, utilizing both genomic-scale data and ancient/historical DNA techniques. My two main research programs involve deciphering the deep branches of the avian tree of life and using genetic data to examine species-limits and diversification across tropical Asia. Additional interests focus on issues of biogeography, particularly the geography of speciation, and biodiversity conservation. In my lab, we use DNA sequence data to reconstruct evolutionary history. We also compare the genetic signal to other aspects such as morphological characters to examine the correlation of genotype and phenotype as well as species ranges to examine gene flow, distributional patterns, and the potential impact of the various geological and climatic changes on diversification.