Dr. Nicole Valenzuela Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology
Iowa State University
251 Bessey Hall. Ames, IA 50011
RESEARCH OVERVIEW We are interested in studying how ecology affects the structure, function, and evolution of the genome and its role in the development and evolution of complex phenotypes. This help us understand the evolution of biological diversity and how it responds to environmental change.
PHD AND POSTDOCTORAL OPEN POSITIONS Multiple PhD and postdoctoral positions are currently available. Students interested in evolutionary biology, sex determination, evo-devo, chromosome evolution, and climate change, are invited to apply. For details and requirements click here.
Divergent sex-specific plasticity in turtles with opposing sexual dimorphism Research on Podocnemis expansa show a contrasting pattern of sex-specific plasticity to that found in Chelydra serpentina, indicating that differential growth plasticity between males and females is not a pervasive driver of the macroevolutionary patterns of sexual dimorphism across turtles. Evolutionary Biology DOI 10.1007/s11692-013-9249-0
Major NSF Award We received a new NSF grant (MCB 1244355) to study the genome rearrangements responsible for changes in diploid number across turtles and their association with transitions in sex determination.
Why do organisms vary so remarkably in the ways they produce males and females ? Our work focuses on comparative evolutionary and ecological genomics related to the evolution of developmental pathways, particularly those that underlie the development of the sexual phenotype.
What are the causes and consequences of chomosome evolution? We are studying (a) the evolution of sex chromosomes and the genes they contain, plus (b) the genome rearrangements responsible for changes in diploid number across turtles and their association with transitions in sex determination.