Molecular and Physiological Basis for Organismal Adaptation Natural selection acts at the level of the individual as a result of local ecological conditions. This group studies the ecology, evolution and genetic control of complex, ecologically relevant phenotypes in model and non-model species. They address questions at ecological to evolutionary timescales, using empirical and analytic approaches that determine the role of variation in DNA, RNA, protein, and metabolite expression on the phenotypic variation within populations in multiple natural environments.
Morgan investigates the genetic architecture of stress tolerance in Drosophila melanogaster using molecular and statistical quantitative genetics to reveal candidate genes to explain phenotypic adaptation.
Johnson studies genetics and physiology of drought tolerance in a dominant prairie grass, Andropogon gerardii, identifying the extent of genetic diversity and functional variation in locally adapted ecotypes.
Nippert studies energy balances, soil-water-plant relationships, and physiological plant adaptation in grassland plant groups.
Ungerer investigates the evolution of clinal variation in freezing tolerance in Arabidopsis thaliana, focusing on patterns of nucleotide, expression and functional variation of the CBF/DREB1s, a family of transcriptional activators important in cold acclimation and freezing tolerance.
Schrick studies steroids and their regulation of
gene expression in flowering plants: integrating genomics, proteomics