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Beth A. Rowan

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The recent advances in sequencing technology have not only greatly improved our ability to study evolutionary genetics by providing a rapid method for obtaining new reference genomes for different species and for cataloging natural genetic variation among individuals within species, but have also provided speedy alternatives to traditional genetic mapping and new platforms for evaluating molecular phenotypes. I am a plant molecular biologist and genomics researcher currently working with Richard Michelmore at UC Davis. Previously, I worked with Detlef Weigel at the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, where I developed applications of next-generation sequencing technology to address two different questions using hybrids of the model plant, Arabidopsis thaliana. Hybrid individuals provide the opportunity to study how genetic information is swapped between chromosomes before passing them down to the next generation. This phenomenon, known as meiotic recombination, shapes novel combinations of alleles in hybrids. I am currently expanding my efforts in this area to understand what governs the exchange of genetic information between homologous chromosomes, and assess the effects of manipulating recombination on phenotypes. For more, please see my Research page . Hybrid individuals also offer the possibility to study how barriers to gene flow arise, which has been a long-standing question in evolutionary biology. You can read more about this project here .