Director, Drosophila Core
I received by Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from Washington University. I obtained my Master’s and Ph.D. in Biology, with an emphasis in Genetics, from Bowling Green State University. I have broad training in using Drosophila in research. My expertise extends from a thorough understanding of field collection techniques to benchtop research using Drosophila. My first postdoctoral position was in a laboratory that studied phenotypic plasticity in Drosophila. We sampled a local population of Drosophila melanogaster to produce a laboratory population in which we could measure morphological and life history traits. The measurements were done on subpopulations reared in multiple environments. We also performed selection for body size on lines derived from the population and checked for correlated changes in unselected traits. We demonstrated that life history trade-offs cannot be generally assumed and that trade-offs that are observed may be population specific. Additionally, the selection experiment supported the epistasis model with plasticity for a trait being determined by separate loci from those determining the selected trait. I
Most of my research career has involved studies of populations of Drosophila melanogaster. The most important contribution that has come out of that is the creation of the Drosophila Genetic Reference Panel (DGRP). I was the supervisor of the team that was responsible for inbreeding the 900 wild derived lines that ended up producing the 205 DGRP lines. The DGRP has since been used in multiple laboratories to help identify genes and candidate genes that contribute to developmental, behavioral, morphological and physiological traits in D. melanogaster. It has also been instrumental in looking at population-scale diversity of transcriptomes and its genetic basis.