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Full Stream Name: EvoDevOmics

Research Educator: Becca Young

Credit Options: Spring & Fall


We know that genomes in different species are remarkably similar, yet life is spectacularly diverse! So how do the same genes generate so many differences among organisms?

The field of Evolutionary Developmental Biology (EvoDevo) aims to identify how changes in the development of morphological, physiological, and behavioral traits have generated the astonishing biodiversity on our planet. Phenotypic variation results from changes in the expression and function of genes and subsequent modifications of organismal development. Differences in gene expression can result from evolutionary, mutational, environmental, and stochastic effects. In this stream, we will use next-generation sequencing data to identify how variation arises within and across species and in response to environmental change. Further, with species extinctions occurring at an unprecedented rate, the need to expand biodiversity conservation research, including the application of evolutionary and EvoDevo concepts, is amplified. As a result, an emphasis of the stream will highlight the utility of EvoDevo concepts and research for conserving biodiversity.

Stream Overview

The EvoDevOmics Stream develops advanced bioinformatics and statistical analyses of ‘omics-level data, including managing and manipulating data frames, next-generation sequencing data analysis (e.g., differential expression analysis, machine learning, and clustering approaches), data visualization, and writing well-annotated, reproducible scripts. These high-demand skills are transferable to various careers in science and can be used to ask a variety of biological questions. We will apply these skills to explore the origins of biodiversity through comparisons of gene expression during embryogenesis across species and in response to environmental stressors.

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Biology, Computer Science, Environmental Science