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 helps us understand the evolution of biological diversity and how it responds to environmental change.
Sex Determination: Why so many ways of doing it? We survey our current understanding of how and why sex determination evolves in animals and plants, and identify knowledge gaps and research opportunities to identify the evolutionary forces and molecular pathways underlying the evolution of sex determination. PLoS Biology 2014 - PDF.
Cryptic sex chromosomes in painted turtles? Recent studies suggest that TSD turtles are cryptically GSD and possess sex chromosomes. Here we test this hypothesis in Chrysemys picta (TSD), using comparative-genome-hybridization (CGH), a technique we have used to detec cryptic sex chromosomes in other turtles. Cytogenetic and Genome Research (2014) 144: 39-46..
GRADUATE AND POSTDOCTORAL POSITIONS Positions are available for individuals interested in evolutionary biology, sex determination, evo-devo, chromosome and genome evolution, or climate change. Click here for details.
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.