from molecular evolution to global change ecology

Our questions and mission How 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.

Open science We strive to 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.

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

Latest news

2021 11 15 The lab led by graduate student Laura Leventhal with lot's of support from postdoc Megan Ruffley and other lab members just launched the largest Arabidopsis field experiment!

More pics 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"
Preprint https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.10.13.464000v1

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?"

2020 10 - 2021 10 Moi featured in "Fascination of Science" book and art exhibition featuring 60 Nobel prizes and 4 young researchers by the photographer and artist Herlinde Koelbl

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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!

Twitter thread

2021 08 04 Graduate student Lauren Gillespie presenting her research at the Ecological Society of America meeting! Go Lauren!

2021 07 06 Collaborative paper with the Rhee and Gitler labs out in Cell -- including Moi and Postdoc Researcher Shannon Hateley!

2021 06 24 Graduate student Laura Leventhal was awarded the Lewontin Early Award from the Society for the Study of Evolution! Congrats Laura!

2021 06 23 Postdoc Researcher Megan Ruffley was awarded the Plant Genome Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Biology from the National Science Foundation! Congrats Megan! [read Carnegie's PR]

2021 06 24 Moi presenting at ICAR 2020!
*Rapid evolution in globally-distributed field experiments of A. thaliana* Aka. the @
GrENE_net project
Jun 24 - 3 pm (PST)

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]

Lucas evolution 2021 talk.mp4

2021 03 30 A new paper by Lucas Czech describing his "grenepipe" pipeline was published on arXiv.org! software on Github!

2021 02 10 A new paper by C Rellstab, B Dauphin and Moi just came out in Evolutionary Applications

2021 01 14 Graduate student Lauren Gillespie is giving a talk at NASA JPL on her satellite 2 species prediction model "deepbiosphere"

2021 01 11 Moi giving a talk in the Young Investigator Prize symposium at the American Naturalist 2021 Meeting #VirtualAsilomar2021

2020 12 7-11 Lauren speaking in Women in Machine Learning section @ NeurIPS and AGU presenting her work on Deep Learning of biodiversity with remote sensing and user identifications of species!

2020 11 10 The lab receives a grant from conservation non-profit ReviveRestore.org with Jeremy Yoder to study Joshua Tree genomes!

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2020 10 Our lab gets a NIH Director's High-Risk High-Reward grant!

click here and https://commonfund.nih.gov/earlyindependence/AwardRecipients

2020 08 Lab recruiting 4 postdocs! Check out the latest ad in our join us page!

2020 07 28 Our lab receives a large grant from the Department of Energy with a consortium of plant biologists!

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2020 03 15 Our Non-Additive Polygenic method with Nielsen in bioRxiv!

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2020 06 18 Collaborative paper with Monroe and Weigel labs in bioRxiv!

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2020 06 17 Moi received the Otto Hahn Medal from the Max Planck Society!

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2020 03 17 Moi named Forbes 30 under 30!

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2020 02 21 A commentary/re-analysis of Arabidopsis life history strategies just live in PNAS!

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2020 02 12 Moi receives the Young Investigator Prize of the American Society of Naturalists

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2020 01 30 Long publication times (another reason to bioRxive your paper)

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2019 08 27 Paper in Nature: "Natural selection on the Arabidopsis thaliana genome in present and future climates"

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2019 01 17 Preprints and Morale of PhD students

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The lab is supported by: