Speciation typically occurs when two populations split and begin to accumulate genetic differences, which can lead to the evolution of reproductive isolating mechanisms (RIM) that prevent them from interbreeding in the future. Gene flow between species opposes this divergence, since it is a homogenizing force that can swamp genetic and phenotypic differences. Reproductive isolation as a barrier to gene flow must therefore be a key feature in the persistence of species. Species of the Drosophila genus remain some of the best models for the study of speciation. Nonetheless, studies of gene flow during the build up of reproductive isolation in Drosophila have been limited by the fact that very few hybrid zones are known in Drosophila. Our research uses a multi-level approach to discover the genetic mechanisms (within individuals and populations) and evolutionary consequences (for species pairs and for the entire Drosophila genus) of traits involved in reproductive isolation.
I am always looking to recruit talented graduate students with an interest in evolution and genetics. Projects in the lab range from natural history to quantitative genetics and genomics. The most fitting option for doctoral programs is the Biology Department. Please contact me for more information.I am also recruiting postdocs with an interest in speciation genetics. Applicants must have a quantitative background and must be able to work on a collaborative environment. Informal inquiries (including a cv, copies of relevant publications and two names of recommenders) should be emailed to danielricardomatute at gmail dot com.