Joanna Masel

Principal Investigator 

I am interested in lots of different stuff, please browse the research links and publications! I don’t run a wet lab, so all these projects involve mathematics, simulations, downloading and analyzing pre-existing data, or all of the above. I try to work on systems where theoretical models can give insights that just wouldn’t be available any other way, and then to link these models to data. This means we often approach existing datasets with questions and hypotheses that other people aren't thinking about.

I build models that explicitly capture mechanistic constraints, whether from biochemistry, genetics, cellular biology, physiology, or ecology, and work out their evolutionary consequences. Sometimes my interests follow a path, e.g. from theoretical considerations about the robustness and evolvability of biological systems, to empirical work on the origins of coding sequences from non-coding ancestors, to unexpected empirical findings on long-term trends in protein evolution. The latter is an active interest in my lab today, together with theoretical interests about genetic "load", and the tension between relative and absolute competitions in evolution, ecology, and economics.

I am a Professor in the department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, and am a member of Graduate Interdisciplinary Programs (GIDP) in Applied Math, Genetics, and Statistics, the Biochemistry and Cellular Molecular Biology graduate program, and the minors in Ethology & Evolutionary Psychology and Astrobiology. I am also a member of the BIO5 Institute.

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