Welcome to the Population and Evolutionary Genetics Lab at UTEP!
The research program in the Lavretsky Lab is interdisciplinary and transcending landscape, evolutionary, and conservation genomics to study speciation, evolution, adaptation, and the role of gene flow. Overall objectives of our research are to determine the distribution of genetic diversity across species’ ranges to understand (1) the extent to which adaptive and non-adaptive genetic diversity shapes population structure, including (2) what genes are responsible for geographic adaption versus alternative selective pressures (e.g., sexual selection), (3) how contemporary pressures influence a species’ adaptive landscape, and (4) how best to use this information to establish better management and conservation practices. To answer these questions, I employ next-generation techniques (e.g., ddRAD-seq, Capture Sequence, Full Genome), including ancient DNA methods to generate genome-wide markers for various taxa and to link genetic variation to species or population traits of interest. Moreover, we use phenotypic and ecological data to identify any genetic associations that will help decipher the uniqueness of the studied group.