In the Cutter lab, we study the genetic basis of evolutionary change. We are particularly interested heritable changes through time with causes that are at the interface of natural selection and non-adaptive evolutionary forces. Our research currently centers on 3 broad themes: Population genomicsand genome evolution, the genetics of speciation, and evolutionary cell biology of gametes.
We are especially interested in understanding how different evolutionary forces shape patterns of polymorphism within genomes and between species, how sexual selection and sexual conflict affect the evolution of sperm cell traits and reproductive isolation between species, and deciphering the genetic mechanisms that underpin reproductive incompatibilities between closely-related species. We integrate computational genomics, molecular biology, theoretical and experimental approaches in addressing these topics using C. elegans and related nematode species as an evolutionary model. Some new research questions incorporate field work in the tropics and experimental community ecology in the lab.
I am currently accepting highly motivated new PhD students to study these research topics. Interested applicants should send a CV and unofficial transcript along with a cover letter summarizing their research interests, academic background, and skills to firstname.lastname@example.org