Effects of complex population dynamics on genome evolution
How do complex population dynamics structure genomes in wild populations? I’m exploring this question with a population of midges in Lake Mývatn, Iceland, where they have irregular population fluctuations of about 5 orders of magnitude. As part of a long-term monitoring project at Mývatn, Dr. Árni Einarsson has estimated midge densities, and collected and stored midge samples since 1977. I aim to leverage this time series of whole-genome and ecological data to assess how genomic structure is affected by population dynamics.
Eco-evo dynamics in a host–parasitoid system
In the pea aphid, shifts in the frequencies of clonal lines with resistance to parasitoid wasps can happen rapidly enough to affect their ecological dynamics. For these “eco-evo dynamics” to remain important, pea aphid populations must somehow maintain variability in parasitoid resistance. Through lab experiments and simulations, we are trying to understand the ecological ramifications of eco-evo dynamics in this host–parasitoid system. We also aim to describe the ecological mechanisms that maintain variation in parasitoid resistance among pea aphids.