The origin of diversity on earth and the changes in species through time has fascinated the general public since ancient times. But mechanistic dissection of these processes is challenging and questions on adaptive evolution have largely been elusive. My broad research interest is to explore such examples of evolutionary innovations in vertebrates and understand genetic basis underlying such transitions using the modern genomic tools. My work includes characterizing adaptive radiation in Darwin’s finches and identifying genetic factors associated with their beak diversification. In addition, I also study genetic basis of ecological adaptation in Atlantic herring fish and genetic evolution of the remarkable male mating behavioral strategies in Ruffs. Working with Dr. Scott Edwards at Harvard, currently I am also exploring the dramatic transitions from lizard- to snake-like body form in Squamates, one of the striking examples of morphological innovation during tetrapod evolution.
Follow me on twitter here