M O I L A B
from molecular evolution to global change ecology
Our questions and mission How do mutations at the genetic level, subject to natural selection and drift, ultimately lead to ecological adaptation? Can we predict complex ecological traits such as survivorship, fitness, and disease from an organism's genome and environment? Can we use novel molecular biology technology to understand the mechanisms of climate adaptation? Can we deploy new technologies to track and diagnose species and ecosystem declines and reliably guide sustainability policies?
Expertise and group research Our lab has experience in plant experimental ecology, evolutionary molecular genetics, and computer science. Some of our work has dealt with understanding the rate at which new DNA mutations occur per generation, and 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, co-coordinated with François Vasseur (CNRS) and Niek Scheepens (U. Frankfurt), 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 model, we are trying to dissect adaptive ecological traits in the lab using genome editing in plants grown under stressful conditions. We hope our efforts to fundamentally understand evolution of complex traits with genetic engineering tinkering will have not only an impact in ecology but also our understanding of complex human traits.
We strive for a diverse and inclusive lab and scientific community, and denounce racism and xenophobia.
Affiliations and home The lab is primarily affiliated with the Department of Plant Biology of the Carnegie Institution for Science, based in Stanford University, where we are also co-affiliated to Stanford's Department of Biology and Carnegie's Department of Global Ecology
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"