Themes of Research in the Hartl Laboratory


Research in the Hartl laboratory is at the interface of evolutionary biology and molecular genetics. We study genes and genomes in order to learn about the processes by which organisms evolve and new species come into being. Our approach is guided by the philosophy that progress in molecular evolution and progress in molecular biology often go hand in hand. Studies of molecular evolution are usually enhanced when they take advantage of information about biological function and molecular mechanism. Our research often takes advantage of model organisms (fruit flies, nematodes, yeast, bacteria) or organisms of interest in public health (the malaria parasite, P. falciparum). We also make use of state of the art molecular and statistical approaches. In recent years these have included genomics and gene-expression profiling, cloning and DNA sequencing, correlations of sequence data with three-dimensional protein structures, and Bayesian analysis of population samples implemented through Markov chain Monte Carlo methods. In reviewing the individual research projects, you will find that these approaches can be used to address a wide variety of fundamental issues in evolutionary biology.