The field of Ecological and Evolutionary Genomics (EEG) uses interdisciplinary approaches to understand the genetic mechanisms underlying adaptive responses of organisms to their environment. About 13 years ago, scientists across the world realized that the explosion in genomic technologies could be applied to the study of broad questions relating to organismal interactions with the abiotic and biotic environment, in addition to those of medical relevance. Overall, the EEG field aims to understand the complicated relationships between genotype, phenotype and environment as it relates to organismal fitness. While this is a goal of many biological research programs; EEG’s unique niche is to leverage biodiversity to illuminate these relationships. I will review history of the field, including the questions that drive the field as well as an overview of how they are being approached. We will discuss the role of research involving traditional genetic model organisms as well as application of genomic tools to study the diversity of ecologically relevant “non-model” organisms. Our discussion will include examples from the literature as well as my research program on the ecological genomics of nematode-bacterial interactions.
EventsScientific Seminar – Michael Herman, Ph.D.