Chris Leonard, Graduate Student
Chris is primarily interested in the intersection between genetics, development and evolution, and how this intersection can be explored using a modern molecular biology toolkit. Chris studies both the history and molecular basis for segregation distortion systems in Drosophila pseudoobscura and Drosophila persimilis to more deeply understand commonalities in distortion systems across diverse taxa. Specifically, he aims to clarify how genetic conflict likely contributes to hybrid incompatibility and speciation events. He is also interested in the causes and consequences of positive selection at the genetic level, particularly how rapidly evolving genes acquire novel functions.