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Coleman, Jeffrey

Jeffrey Coleman

Graduate Research Assistant
Department of Integrative Biology

GRA in Cannatella lab studying selective pressures that have led to variation in toxicity in poison frog genus Epipedobates

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Broadly, I am interested in evolutionary genetics and genomics, with a particular focus in describing the molecular mechanisms and pressure points that might mutate predictably and repeatably due to ecological selection to generate convergent or recurrent, complex, adaptive variation. I also look to understand mutations that lead to adaptive divergence and diversification in the face of novel selective pressures. Do taxa experiencing shared selective pressures adapt via parallel selection on the same genes and pathways or via lineage-specific selection on different genes and pathways that both ultimately lead to similar functional solutions? I want to use functional assays to explore the full transcriptomic and cellular pathways involved in these mechanisms, from genotype to phenotype, and place these questions of the evolution of complex traits in a phylogenetic context to examine the extent to which phylogenetic signal governs adaptive variation.

In Epipedobates, I plan to study if alkaloid-rich diets have allowed for improved autoresistance ability in brightly colored relative to dull species in the face of predation, how molecular evolution has responded differentially to these pressures, and the how metabolic costs of display and defense play out in the genome.

College Recruitment Fellow

Enhanced Support Fellow