The Paleogenomics Lab is a joint venture between two PIs: Beth Shapiro, and Richard (Ed) Green (see Ed’s lab website in BME). Our research focuses on a wide range of evolutionary and ecological questions, mostly involving the application of genomics techniques to better understand how species and populations evolve through time
Evolution of gene regulatory networks
How does nature innovate, how does it create new evolutionary adaptations? Darwin taught us how innovations can spread, but his theory is silent about the origins of new and beneficial traits. To identify innovation principles deeper than the well-worn notion that random DNA mutations are needed, we study three classes of genetic change that bring forth most or all evolutionary innovations. These are changes in metabolism, in regulatory circuits, and in macromolecules like protein and RNA. By analyzing and comparing how new traits originate in these systems, we can identify the deep principles behind life’s ability to innovate, its innovability.