Editor biographies

Rowan Barrett

Barrett

Rowan Barrett is an Assistant Professor and Canada Research Chair in the Redpath Museum and Biology Department at McGill University, Montreal, Canada. He completed his Ph.D. at the University of British Columbia in 2010 and received postdoctoral training at Harvard University before taking up his current position. Dr. Barrett's work is focused on understanding the genetic basis of adaptation to changing environments. His research bridges theoretical and empirical approaches in population genetics, evolutionary ecology, and molecular biology to ask questions about the reciprocal interactions between ecological and evolutionary processes. He has pursued this research program with a variety of key study systems, including stickleback fish, deer mice, anolis lizards, and microbes.

Giorgio Bertorelle

Giorgio Bertorelle

Giorgio Bertorelle is a population geneticist at the University of Ferrara, Italy. He obtained a PhD at the University of Padova in 1996. His main interest is the reconstruction of evolutionary processes using genetic variation data in different species, including the statistical aspects and the understanding of the impact on genomes of environmental changes related to human activities.

John Bradshaw

John Bradshaw

John Bradshaw spent the whole of his 34 year career (1975-2009) as a plant breeder and geneticist at what is now the James Hutton Institute in Dundee; having studied genetics and applied genetics at the Universities of Cambridge (BA), Birmingham (MSc) and East Anglia (PhD). He worked on barley, brassicas (kale, swedes and turnips) and potatoes; doing research on the applications of genetics to plant breeding methods as well as breeding finished cultivars. He was particularly interested in methods of kale population improvement, the genetic basis of heterosis in swedes, the theory and practice of linkage and QTL analysis in tetraploid potatoes, and breeding for quantitative resistance to pests and diseases (clubroot in kale, powdery mildew in swedes, and late blight and cyst nematodes in potatoes). He has written extensively on plant breeding and genetics and is widely travelled (the photograph is visiting potato trials in China). In May 2012 he was made an honorary member of EUCARPIA, the European Association for Research on Plant Breeding.

Oscar Gaggiotti

Oscar Gaggiotti

Oscar Gaggiotti is a theoretical population geneticist interested in the integration of ecology, population genetics, and evolution. He did his PhD at Rutgers University on the genetic consequences of metapopulation dynamics and then moved to NOAA's South West Fisheries Science Center in La Jolla where he developed theory to explain the effect of environmental fluctuations and fisheries on the genetic structure of pelagic fish. He continued his theoretical work on metapopulation genetics at the University of Bangor and then moved to the University of Cambridge where we developed his longstanding interest in Bayesian statistical genetics applied to the study of metapopulations. He continued to pursue this research at the University of Helsinki between 2001 and 2003 and then at the University of Grenoble where he spent the next nine years. He is currently a Professor at the University of St Andrews where he holds a MASTS Chair in molecular ecology.

Sara Goodacre

Sara Goodacre

Sara Goodacre is an evolutionary biologist who established the 'SpiderLab' at Nottingham University in 2007. Sara and her group work on a range of evolutionary and conservation genetic studies, using spiders as model systems. Examples of current projects include studies of dispersal-strategy and the persistence of population differentiation in spider meta-populations, and the genetic consequences of cooperative behaviour in desert spiders. Recently the lab has also started to work on molecular genetic studies of native and synthetic spider silk, focussing on a range of tarantula species.

Bengt Hansson

Bengt Hansson

Why are blue tits on La Palma genetically different? What makes a crow grey or black? Which genes control the long wing of migrating birds? Why are some damselfly females mimicking males? What happens when a gene suddenly becomes linked to the sex chromosomes? Can birds on small islands develop into several new species?

These are the sort of questions than Bengt Hansson is trying to bring some light on with his research at Lund University, Sweden. Luckily, recent advancements in molecular biology, genetics and bioinformatics allow studying such evolutionary problems also in non-model organisms. Presently, Bengt's main research goals are to uncover the genetics of traits involved in migration (in warblers), colour polymorphism (in damselflies) and speciation (in island finches), as well as to understand the evolution of sex chromosomes and sex-biased gene expression.

Olivier Hardy

Olivier Hardy

Olivier Hardy has specific interest in plant population genetics, phylogeography and community ecology. He did his PhD on the evolution of a polyploid complex at the Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium, and a postdoc on gene dispersal in an endangered plant at the University of Montpellier II, France. He also developed computer programs simulating processes or treating population genetics or community data. His current research focus on African rain forest plants, including species delimitation, comparative phylogeography, seed and pollen dispersal, and community phylogenetics.

Johan Hollander

Hollander

Johan Hollander is an evolutionary biologist as well as a marine biologist at Lund University, Sweden. His research address evolutionary questions such as the origin of species, phenotypic plasticity and dispersal strategies. He primarily uses marine molluscs as model organisms. In the field of speciation, his research focuses on the genetic mechanisms to link selection to reproductive isolation, and evolution of genital divergence – how genital form is linked with reproductive character displacement and reinforcement.

Jane Hughes

Jane Hughes

Jane Hughes runs the Molecular Ecology laboratory at Griffith University. Her interests are in using molecular markers to answer ecological and evolutionary questions. She heads the aquatic conservation and biodiversity theme within the Australian Rivers Institute.

Frank Jiggins

Frank Jiggins

Frank Jiggins works on the evolution and genetics of hosts and parasites, mostly using insects as a model system. He did his PhD in Genetics at the University of Cambridge, working on bacterial symbionts in butterflies. After a fellowship in Cambridge he moved to Edinburgh, where his lab began working on Drosophila. Six years later he moved back to Cambridge, where he holds a readership in Evolutionary Genetics and a Royal Society University Research Fellowship. His current research interests include understanding how selection by pathogens has shaped animal genomes and why animals vary in susceptibility to infection. To answer these questions in Drosophila, mosquitoes and rabbits he uses the tools of genomics and evolutionary genetics.

Lacey Knowles

Lacey Knowles

Lacey Knowles received her Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolution from the State University of New York at Stony Brook in 1999 and she was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Arizona in 1999-2002. Currently she conducts her research at the University of Michigan, which focuses on speciation and the processes that initiate or contribute to population divergence, and spans a wide range of temporal and spatial scales that have both ecological and evolutionary implications. Her primary research interests include the relative contributions of selection and drift to speciation, the evolution of reproductive isolation, and the processes generating macroevolutionary patterns of diversity.

Lori Lawson Handley

Lori Lawson Handley

Lori Lawson Handley is an evolutionary biologist. Her research interests span quite a diverse range of topics within the general realm of ecological and evolutionary genetics, but basically she uses population genetics approaches to understand the fundamental evolutionary and demographic processes that determine the genetic make-up of populations.

Since moving to Hull in September 2007, Lori's research has focused on the ecology and evolutionary biology of invasive alien species, and in particular, the harlequin ladybird. Her research group are trying to elucidate the source populations and invasion routes of this highly invasive species, and to understand why it is such a successful invader. She is part of the UK ladybird research group and ladybird survey, and part of a global consortium of researchers working on different aspects of the biology of invasive arthropods.

Thomas Meagher

Thomas Meagher

Thomas Meagher is a plant evolutionary biologist with interests in population structure, phenotypic evolution, pedigree inference, conservation biology, and applied evolution. He did his PhD at Duke University on population demography of dioecious plants, and supplemented that work with adaptation of forensic methods of paternity analysis to investigate mating system dynamics in natural populations. His research career has included work at Duke University, Cambridge University (Fulbright Fellow), Rutgers University, and since 1999 he has held a personal chair at the University of St Andrews. His current interests are include investigation of local and regional population structure with a particular emphasis on conservation and biodiversity management and integration of scientific results into government policy.

Kermit Ritland

Kermit Ritland

Kermit Ritland is a population geneticist who has traditionally worked with plant mating systems but more recently with genomics of poplar and spruce. He did his PhD at the University of California, Davis, on the evolution of plant life histories. He moved on to estimation of mating systems, and authored the well-used program "mltr", and used yellow monkeyflowers (Mimulus guttutus and relatives as a model system for studying the evolution of inbreeding. After 11 years as a professor at U. Toronto, where that work was done, he moved to UBC in Vancouver BC in 1996, and found himself involved with several facets of forest genetics and molecular ecology, and since 2001 forest genomics (involving large scale grants funded by Genome Canada/Genome BC). Pictured: I am in the middle surrounded by a forest genetics mafia (left to right: Jim Hamrick, Yousry El-Kassaby, me, Antoine Kremer, David Neale (at a Purdue meeting in 2008).

Aurora Ruiz-Herrera

Aurora Ruiz-Herrera

Aurora Ruiz-Herrera is an evolutionary biologist. Her research activity has been focused on three main areas: (i) comparative genomics, (ii) reproductive biology and (iii) genomic instability, faces of a three-sided pyramid that has as a main objective to understand the mechanisms driving genome organization and evolution. He did his PhD at the Autonomous University of de Barcelona on chromosome evolution and then spent five years of postdoctoral training at the University of Stellenbosch (South Africa) and the University of Pavia (Italy). Since 2009 she moved back to Barcelona, where she heads the Animal Genomics Group at the Autonomous University of de Barcelona. Her current research is focussed on the study of genome organization by combining computational and experimental methods, and by studying the genomes of different mammalian species.

Tanja Slotte

Tanja Slotte

Tanja Slotte is an Assistant Professor in Evolutionary Genetics at the Dept. of Ecology and Genetics, Uppsala University, Sweden. She completed her PhD in Biology at Uppsala University in 2007 and received two years of postdoctoral training at University of Toronto and York University, Canada, before taking up her current position. Her research is centered on plant evolutionary genomics, with a particular focus on the causes and consequences of plant mating system shifts.

Marc Stift

Stift

Marc Stift is based at the University of Konstanz, Germany. He has fairly broad interests within the general fields of evolutionary genetics and ecology. More specific research themes include sporophytic self-incompatibility, the evolution of selfing, and polyploidy.

Jinliang Wang

Jinliang Wang

Jinliang Wang is a theoretical population geneticist. He did his PhD at Northwestern Agricultural University in 1991, on a stochastic simulation study of the mating and selection strategies for the conservation of a population with long and overlapping generations. After a few years of teaching and research in several universities in China, he moved in year 1997 to Edinburgh University as a postdoc on population genetics. In year 2000, he joined the Zoological Society of London's Institute of Zoology, first as a research fellow and then as a senior research fellow, to continue working on conservation genetics. His current research interests are in developing population/quantitative genetics models and methods on analysis of empirical data to address issues in evolutionary and conservation biology and in the selective improvement of domesticated species.

Shizhong Xu

Shizhong Xu

Shizhong Xu is a quantitative geneticist with a specific interest in Bayesian method of quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping and genome-wide association studies (GWAS). He received his Ph.D. at Purdue University on selection and genetic drift. He did his postdoctoral research at Rutgers University and North Carolina State University, where he developed his interest in QTL mapping. In 1995, he moved to the University of California Riverside (UCR) and established the UCR Quantitative Genetics Laboratory. He has been teaching Quantitative Genetics (BPSC148) and Statistical Genomics (BPSC234) at UCR. His current research interests include genetic mapping for complex traits (including quantitative traits and disease resistances), genome-wide association studies, genomic selection and segregation distortion analysis.

Bas Zwaan

Bas Zwaan

Bas Zwaan is an evolutionary biologist. He is currently at Wageningen University and his main area of research is evolution and development in butterflies