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Dlugosch Lab, University of Arizona, Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

The Evolutionary Ecology of Colonization & Invasion

How does ecology evolve? Can adaptation to the new environments that are encountered during range expansion or climate change alter the persistence, abundance, or spread of organisms? These questions are fundamental to understanding how ecology might change over short timescales, and play a special role in understanding the success of introduced (a.k.a. non-native / exotic / invasive) species.

In the Dlugosch Lab, we study the genetics and rapid evolutionary dynamics of ecology, using a variety of genetic approaches (quantitative, molecular, and genomic) in combination with field experiments and observations.

Clockwise from top-left: invasive yellow starthistle in the field, undergraduate H Sounart and postdoc P Lu-Irving sampling for microbial diversity (photo: J Harencar), undergrad SW Smith phenotyping evolving plant traits, bioinformatic script for genomic analyses, heatmap of microbiome composition, undergrad J Welchert preparing DNA samples for sequencing (photo: B Barker), and scanning for genes that show evidence of adaptive evolution in invading populations.
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