An exciting new area of work in the Blois lab is looking at patterns of genetic diversity and structure across space and time. After 2 years at UC Merced, the ancient DNA is up and running! We’ve got a nice ancient DNA lab that is spatially separated from all modern genetic work and are ramping up the ecological genetics side of the lab.
Focusing in on the genetic diversity and structure of particular species allows us to tackle questions such as: 1) past refugia for species during unfavorable climatic periods; 2) whether particular loci seem to be associated with environmental gradients across space or through time; 3) whether patterns of diversity are repeated at the assemblage, species, and population levels; 4) whether levels of genetic diversity are concordant with morphological diversity; and many, many more.
Right now, we are focusing on three main projects:
1. Neotoma genomics, led by postdoc Sarah Brown
2. Peromyscus dynamics, led by QSB PhD student Robert Boria
3. Otter genetic diversity, led by QSB PhD student Danaan DeNeve (more on this here)