FACULTY

Rasmus Nielsen (He/Him)
Department of Integrative Biology
4153C Valley Life Sciences Building (VLSB)
Berkeley, CA 94720-3140
Phone: (510) 643-4993
Email: rasmus_nielsen@berkeley.edu

 

GRADUATE STUDENTS

Sandra Hui (They/Them)
As a student in the Computational Biology graduate group, I’m interested in method development for studying tumor evolution using single cell whole genome sequencing, from a population genetics perspective.
Email: sandra_hui@berkeley.edu

 

 

Aaron Stern (He/Him)
I am a PhD candidate in the Graduate Group in Computational Biology. I am developing methods to detect whether natural selection has acted on an allele and/or trait using patterns of genetic variation in a modern population. I developed CLUES a method that uses ancestral recombination graphs (ARGs) to detect selection & reconstruct allele frequency changes, and an extension of this method, PALM, which detects and quantifies the strength of selection acting on a polygenic trait, and can disentangle selection acting on sets of pleiotropically-related traits. Currently, I am interested in better understanding how natural selection on polygenic traits interacts with pleiotropy and/or ancestry.
Website: https://35ajstern.github.io
Email: ajstern@berkeley.edu

 

 

Debora Brandt (She/Her)
I’m interested in studying the evolutionary history of species using genomic data. My current research is focused on humans, using modern and ancient genomic data to learn about our demographic history.
Email: deboraycb@berkeley.edu

 

 

Emma Steigerwald (She/Her)
I am interested in whether climate change can exacerbate emerging infectious disease pressures on wild populations by affecting spatial patterns of genetic diversity. To explore this question, I work with Pleurodema marmoratum in the Cordillera Vilcanota of Southern Peru– the highest-living amphibians in the world!
Email: emma_steigerwald@berkeley.edu

 

Diana Aguilar Gómez (She/Her)
I am a PhD Candidate from the Computational Biology Program. I got my undergraduate degree in Genomic Science from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). I currently work with skin color adaptation and population history. My main two projects involve color evolution in 1) toad-headed lizards from China and 2) strawberry poison frogs from Panama.
Email: aguilar-gomez@berkeley.edu

 

Andrew Vaughn (He/him)
I am a PhD Student in the Computational Biology Program. I am interested in research questions in statistical genetics and human evolution. My current project focuses on reconstructing demographic histories from genomic data.
Email: ahv36@berkeley.edu

 

 

Maya Lemmon-Kishi (She/her)
I am a PhD student in the Computational Biology graduate group. Broadly speaking, I am interested in integrating ecological methods with population genetics to understand how species respond to environmental changes. Currently I am working on developing methods for population genetic analyses of environmental DNA.
Email: maya_lemmon-kishi@berkeley.edu

 

 

POSTDOCTORATES

 

Ammon Corl (He/Him)
My fields of study include evolutionary biology, behavioral ecology, herpetology, and population genetics. I am particularly interested in questions pertaining to speciation, sexual selection, the maintenance and loss of polymorphism, and the genetic basis of adaptive phenotypes in wild populations. My current project in the Nielsen lab is to investigate the genetic basis of the polymorphic mating strategies found in the side-blotched lizard (Uta stansburiana). A major goal of this project is to better understand how specialized mating phenotypes are able to evolve within a species. I have also worked on another project with side-blotched lizards that studied the genetic basis of adaptation following plastic changes in coloration in a novel environment. Please visit my website for more information about my research. https://ammoncorl.github.io/
Email: ammoncorl (at) berkeley.edu

 

Hongru Wang
I was trained in a rice molecular genetics lab, but got interested in the evolutionary genetic aspects of rice. My research interests include understanding mechanisms and consequences of genetic admixture. Currently, I am using rice genus as a model system to address the potential contribution of gene flow to speciation and domestication. Learning from the genomic pattern of rice domestication, I also work with collaborators to identify and validate new targets for further crop improvement using gene editing technology.
Email: henryscut@hotmail.com

 

April Wei
I am a postdoc in the Nielsen lab seeking to understand recent human evolution and genetic architecture. I use the UK Biobank data to study ongoing selection, archaic admixture, gene-by-environment interactions, and genetic interactions. For future work, I am interested in jointing statistical genetics with evolutionary genetics. I am also interested in connecting the documented exposures to new environments in the human history with the genetic adaptation through novel/standing variation, or admixture, as well as the associated adaptive and responsive consequences at the molecular, cellular, and organism level.
E-mail: aprilwei@berkeley.edu
Website: https://xinzhuaprilwei.weebly.com

 

Lenore Pipes (She/Her)
Lenore Pipes was born and raised on Guam USA. She earned her undergraduate degree in Honors Biology and Sociology/Anthropology from Swarthmore College and her masters degree from Johns Hopkins University in Bioinformatics. She obtained her PhD in Computational Biology at Cornell University where she was an NSF GRFP recipient studying the evolution of alternative splicing in primates. Her postdoctoral research focuses on developing methods for environmental DNA. Apart from her career in academic research, Lenore is a retired professional road cyclist. She raced for UCI Women’s World Tour Teams BePink and TIBCO. Her palmares include 9th place at the 2012 Liberty Classic, 69th place at the 2016 Tour of Flanders, and 55th place at the 2015 Women’s Elite Road Cycling World Championships.
E-mail: lpipes@berkeley.edu

 

LONG TERM VISITORS & ASSOCIATES

 

Joana Rocha (She/Her)
I am interested in the mechanisms driving adaptation in natural populations living in extreme environments . During my PhD research at the Nielsen Lab I’ve been using genomic data to understand the relative roles of demography and natural selection in the evolution of desert-dwelling fox species.
Email: joana_rocha@berkeley.edu

 

 

 

UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS

 

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