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A fundamental problem for biology is to understand phenotypic and species diversity. Ernst Mayr wrote that two distinct disciplines provide a conceptual framework for tackling this issue: functional biology and evolutionary biology. Mayr argued that while the functional biologist might be interested in how genetic and phenotypic variation arises, the evolutionary biologist is preoccupied by why it occurs in the first place. That is, in the factors promoting and maintaining variation. The Dopman lab applies a unified framework and seeks both functional and evolutionary explanations for diversity in nature. Our studies draw on approaches from numerous disciplines (ecology, genomics, physiology, molecular genetics), often in the context of adaptive evolution and the origin of species.
Current interests include: "speciation genes" and reproductive isolating barriers; reproductive protein evolution; sex bias and sex chromosome evolution; dormancy and seasonality; and organismal resilience to climate change.
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