M O I L A B
from molecular evolution to global change ecology
Our questions and mission Will species evolve to climate change? Can evolution from pre-existing genetic diversity in species lead to rapid evolution to the environment? What is the genomic architecture of adaptation? What are the eco-physiological and life history traits involved in plant climate adaptation? Can we use novel molecular biology to engineer adaptation? Can we deploy global monitoring technologies to track and diagnose species and ecosystem declines and reliably guide sustainability policies?
Expertise and group research To address the above questions, our lab integrates multiple disciplines, from plant experimental ecology, to evolutionary genetics, to molecular biology, and computer science. Some of our work has dealt with understanding the rate at which new DNA mutations occur per generation in plant populations, what is the ecological relevance of genetic variation along the genome. We have pioneered methods to create geographic maps cataloging genetic variation of a species to anticipate the differential threats of climate change to its different populations. An important current project of the lab is a distributed global evolution experiment, GrENE-net.org, which aims to test the evolvability of the plant Arabidopsis thaliana in many climates around the world. Using the same plant model, we are trying to modify adaptive ecological traits in the lab using CRISPR-based genome editing. We have also created methods to track the loss of evolutionary potential of species from habitat losses. We hope our efforts will help us to fundamentally understand evolution, ecology, and genetics, of a species in relation to climate.
Diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and justice. We strive to be and welcome a diverse and inclusive lab and scientific community, and denounce racism, xenophobia, and any kind of violence.
Open science We make our research open to the public, posting papers on bioRxiv.org and making code and data available GitHub.com, Datadryad.org, or Figshare.com. PDFs of all of our publications can also be found under subpage papers.
Affiliations and home. As of 2024, our lab will proudly be homed at the University of California Berkeley (www.berkeley.edu), department of Integrative Biology, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (www.hhmi.org), and is affiliated member to the Institute of Innovative Genomics (https://innovativegenomics.org).
Our lab was founded in 2019 at the Department of Plant Biology of the Carnegie Institution for Science and Stanford University.
Latest news & blog posts
2023 09 14 The #MOILAB is moving to BERKELEY in 2024!
We are super excited to announce the news of our lab's next, long-term phase at the University of California Berkeley. Our lab will also begin at the same time its phase as part of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI).
This new home will continue catalyzing our strong evolutionary genetics research area within the Center for Theoretical Evolutionary Genetics, and allow us to expand into new directions of global biodiversity, with links to the UC & Jepson Herbaria, and supercharge the lab's efforts in gene editing as member of the Innovative Genomics Institute.
We are recruiting at all levels (PhD students, tech, Postdoc, Staff Scientists) to join this new lab adventure!
#MOILAB presenters at Ecology Society of America 2023
Aug 9 10:00 AM Lauren Gillespie "Mapping plant communities from above using deep learning, citizen science, and remote sensing" (Room TBD)
Aug 7 at 1:50 PM Meixi Lin "Genetic extinction vortex: feedbacks between species range and adaptability loss in the Anthropocene" (Room 258)
#MOILAB presenters at Society of Molecular Biology & Evolution 2023, GRC Ecological and Evolutionary Genomics, and American Society of Plant Biology 2023
July 26 at 10:30 am Moi Exposito-Alonso. "The genomics of species range contraction in the Anthropocene" (New Frontiers in Conservation Genomics) (Location: AD1)
July 31 at 7:40 pm Moi Exposito-Alonso "The Genomics of Adaptation and Extinction in the Anthropocene"
Aug 2 at 1:45 pm Moi Exposito-Alonso. "Rapid evolution across climates in globally-distributed experiments of an annual herb" (Location: Meeting Room 105-106)
#MOILAB presenters at Botany 2023
July 24 at 2:15 pm Laura Leventhal. "Four range limit hypotheses tested in a climate manipulated common garden using natural accessions of Arabidopsis thaliana" (Ecology 2: Plant Responses to the Environment)
#MOILAB presenters at Evolution 2023
June 22 - 11:15 AM @ Pecos 230 - Lauren Gillespie "Mapping plant biodiversity from the skies using open science, remote sensing, and deep learning" (Biogeography II session)
June 22 - 3 PM @ Mesilla 235 - Tatiana Bellagio "Benchmarking GEA models to identify rapid evolution across climates in globally-distributed experiments of an annual herb" (Experimental Evolution I)
June 22 3:15 PM @ Pecos 230 - Kristy Mualim "Genetic diversity loss continues long after habitat destruction ends" (Conservation Biology I)
June 23 10:15 AM @ Pecos 230 - Laura Leventhal "Four range limit hypotheses tested in climate-manipulated common garden" (Adaptation III)
June 23 - 4:30 PM @ Brazos 115 - Lucas Czech "Population genetic statistics for the next generation of pool sequencing" (Population Genetics Theory - Methods II)
Lucas created a tool for manipulating and conducting statistics for pool-sequencing data to study rapid evolutionary dynamics!
2023 05 25 BIG UPDATE on Lauren's deepbiosphere in bioRxiv! Lauren used deep learning to connect high-resolution airborne images with plant species reported in iNaturalist in a new generation of niche models!
2023 2 16 Moi is recognized with the Early Career Faculty Award from the American Society of Plant Biology for exelence in plant genetics!
2023 5 9 The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) selected Moi as one of the 31 new Freeman Hrabowski Scholars, outstanding early career faculty in science who have potential to become leaders in their research fields and to create diverse and inclusive lab environments in which everyone can thrive.
2023 5 Xing got awarded the postdoc fellowship of the Stanford center for Computational, Evolutionary and Human Genomics. Congrats Xing!
2023 2 16 Moi is recognized with the Tansley Medal for exelence in plant science!
2023 2 10 Meixi awarded the prestigious Smith Fellowship for conservation!
2022 12 09 Moi appears in mainstream Spanish newspaper El Pais talking about global biodiversity targets
2022 12 07 Moi will be attending delegate in the United Nations' Convention on Biological diversity!
Follow https://twitter.com/MExpositoAlonso in Twitter for updates on genetic diversity goal discussions
Moi is putting resources together about genetic diversity targets under www.moilab.science/cop15!
2022 10 25 New collaborative preprint with Bergmann lab led by Patricia Lang on Arabidopsis herbaria to track adaptation to climate change!
Twitter thread from Patricia Lang https://twitter.com/plantricia/status/1585296493849649154
2022 09 22 The MOILAB publishes a paper in Science magazine! We study how the loss of habitat for a species impacts its genetic diversity!
Read Moi's interview in The Scientist https://www.google.com/url?q=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.the-scientist.com%2Fnews-opinion%2Fare-we-in-the-midst-of-a-silent-mass-extinction-70534&sa=D
Press Release https://carnegiescience.edu/news/it-may-already-be-too-late-meet-un-genetic-diversity-target
La traducción en La Vanguardia https://www.lavanguardia.com/natural/20220923/8540552/antropoceno-provocado-destruccion-mas-10-diversidad-genetica-planeta.html
2022 08 The MOI LAB got a multidisciplinary grant with Moi as co-PI! The grant is a new NSF Biology Integration Institute called WALII "Water and Life Interface Institute"
Check out the website! walii.science
NSF announcement: https://beta.nsf.gov/news/integrative-biological-science-and-training-are-focus-4-new-institutes
2022 08 077 Lauren talking at the Ecological Society of America! Explaining her new bioRxiv paper to create multi-species distribution models with satellite data!
2022 06 07 Moi Lab at PEGQ22!
Laura presented her poster on a new outdoor field experiment (link here), Megan presented her poster on genetic constraints to adaptation (link here), Lucas presented his poster on grenepipe & grenedalf tools (link here) for the GrENE-net project. Moi presented his poster on genetic diversity loss (link here).
2021 11 New collaborative paper with the Dinneny lab in bioRxiv! "Uncovering natural variation in root system architecture and growth dynamics using a robotics-assisted phenomics platform"
2021 03 New collaborative paper with Joseph Matheson and Joana Masel in bioRxiv! "Haldane's cost of selection imposes a mild constraint on adaptation, with a high proportion of deaths in A. thaliana being selective"
2021 10 16 New collaborative paper with the Vasseur & Violle labs in bioRxiv! "Into the range: a latitudinal gradient or a center-margins differentiation of ecological strategies in Arabidopsis thaliana?"
2021 10 15 New lab paper in bioRxiv! Quantifying how much genetic diversity is lost due to global change-driven ecosystem transformations will help track progress in the United Nation's sustainability goals. Congrats everyone!
2021 07 06 Collaborative paper with the Rhee and Gitler labs out in Cell -- including Moi and Postdoc Researcher Shannon Hateley!
2021 06 21 Moi and Lucas presenting talks at Evolution 2021!
*Efficient analysis of allele frequency variation from whole-genome pool-seq data*
Jun 21 - 2:20 pm (PST) [VIDEO MP4]
*Rapid evolution in globally-distributed field experiments of A. thaliana* Aka. the @GrENE_net project
Jun 21 - 7 am (PST) [VIDEO MP4]
2020 12 17 Moi hablando en "El Pais con tu futuro"