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Evolutionary Mechanisms

Faculty members and students in KU-EEB investigate the evolutionary forces shaping populations, species, and genomes. Questions are addressed in speciation, sexual selection, phenotypic evolution, population structure, and the maintenance of genetic variation. Current areas of active research include developmental evolution, the evolution of genetic and epigenetic systems, behavior and behavioral genetics, statistical phylogenetics, quantitative trait evolution, and studies of population genetic structure.

Research strategies include both experimental and theoretical approaches, and involve both natural and model systems in a wide variety of organisms, including cnidarians, Drosophila, hymenoptera, Mimulus and other flowering plants, viruses and other pathogens. There is significant strength in quantitative, statistical, and theoretical approaches, and in the use of modern genomic tools for the study of evolution.

See our Research Areas page for other research foci in the department.


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$275 million in externally funded research expenditures
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