Wolf lab research projects

The Wolf lab works on a diversity of problems that are generally unified by an interest in how various type of phenomena influence the genotype-phenotype relationship and how this, in turn, influences various evolutionary processes.  We use theoretical and computation population and quantitative genetics combined with empirical work on a diversity of experimental systems to achieve this goal.  

The various problems we work on can be divided in a few main conceptual areas:


    .genomic.imprinting.

    .maternal.effects.

    .social.evolution.

    .genetic.architecture.


Publications related to these major 'themes' can be found in the related section on the 'publications' page (follow the link from each section). 


.genomic.imprinting. 

Theory:
We have been modeling a number of scenarios where interaction effects favor the evolution of genomic imprinting (where an allele is silenced in a parent-of-origin specific manner).   In particular, we have demonstrated how selection favouring coadaptation can favour the evolution of genomic imprinting. We continue to work on models looking at related processes.  We are also working on theory related to the role of imprinting in the evolution of genetic architecture. 

  

Emprical analysis:

We have developed methods to detect and characterize imprinted loci.  Under this framework we have been interested in the different ways that imprinting can impact patterns of variation. Ongoing work is focused on applying our statistical methods to more complex data sets and on analyses of genetic constructs to understand the function of imprinted genes.
  


.see.full.genomic.imprinting.publications.list.

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.maternal.effects.

We have worked on population and quantitative genetic models of maternal effects and maternal-offspring interactions.  These models have been expanded to understand the role of maternal effects in a number of evolutionary processes.  Ongoing theoretical work is focused on the generalization of our models.  We have also developed statistical approaches to identifying maternal effect loci, which we have applied to several data sets.  Ongoing work is focused on extending these analyses to more complex data sets. 


 

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.social.evolution.

Theory:

Another diverse area of research in the Wolf lab is understanding processes in social evolution.  Much of our previous work has focused on quantitative genetic models, but ongoing work has expanded our approach to include game theory models. 

 

 

Emprical analysis:

We have been using a diversity of experimental systems to examine the properties of  traits involved in social interactions.  Previous work has used flies and two different plant systems. Most ongoing work has been focused on the slime-mold Dictyostelium discoideum


 

.see.full.social.evolution.publications.list.

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.genetic.architecture.

We have been modeling how various phenomena structure the genotype-phenotype relationship to understand the genetic architecture of complex traits.  We have also used these models to understand how these phenomena allow genetic architecture to evolve.  Work is continuing in this area to further understand how  genetic architecture and genetic correlations evolve.


 

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