My research deals with understanding how deterministic forces (such as natural selection) and stochastic processes (such as genetic drift) shape the origin of species and evolution of lineages. While both forces are important, the relative contribution and effect of each is often unknown. I use systems that show repeated evolution to distinguish the repeated effects of deterministic forces from those that differ due to stochastic processes. My research encompasses a variety of taxa including wild, weedy, and domesticated plants ranging from domesticated apples to African rice. I utilize comparisons at both the intraspecific and interspecific level, and apply ecological, quantitative, and population genetics and genomics to examine the potential for and patterns resulting from repeated evolution.
See a video regarding my work with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations here.