Biogeography, Evolution, and Conservation

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa

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Gene flow

Characterizing rates and patterns of genetic exchange among populations (aka "gene flow") has become a particularly useful tool in understanding a variety of issues in ecology and evolution, such as local adaptation, speciation, and connectivity among threatened, harvested, and recovering natural populations.

Our lab has been involved with a variety of research projects focused on gene flow among natural populations of organisms, but with an emphasis on understanding gene flow as one of several evolutionary forces that shape patterns of genetic differentiation among populations and species over time. At present, we think that methods based on the coalescent, which use information stored in the genealogical structure (shape) of gene trees, offer the greatest potential insight into the causes of population divergence.