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Busch Lab Evolutionary Biology


We are biologists who seek to understand and explain biodiversity in an ever-changing world. Most of our projects therefore dissect the causes and consequences of evolution, and plants are typical study systems (see the images above for exemplary Leavenworthia and Mimulus). On any given day, we spend our time challenging hypotheses with simple models, analyses of DNA sequence variation, studies of traits in natural populations, and experimental evolution (a new and exciting pursuit!).

We are particularly interested in traits that influence genetic variability. Mating systems are perhaps the most impactful of such traits because they profoundly influence the distribution of genetic variation within and among populations. Most of our current work centers on these themes: 1) the evolution of mating systems in natural populations; 2) how close inbreeding influences evolutionary change; and 3) feedbacks between trait evolution and species’ geographic ranges.

To prospective students:

Students with broad interests in biology, an independent streak, and curiosity in the feedback between theory and empirical work are always welcome. Feel free to email me about joining the lab — I am always happy to discuss ideas for projects. Check out the people page for more information on current projects and to see what alumni are up to now.

Find us on campus:

Eastlick 390 (The lab)

Eastlick 387 (Jeremiah’s office)