Ryan Godfrey


Theoretical predictions regarding the population genetics and evolution of sexual vs. asexual populations abound, but seldom are they tested empirically. I am comparing sexual and functionally asexual populations of Evening Primrose (Oenothera spp) to determine the evolutionary and ecological consequences of the loss of sex. I am specifically interested in measuring heritability in phenotypic traits as well as measures of genetic diversity, genetic associations and polymorphism in populations from asexual species and comparing these to populations from closely related sexual species. I am also interested in knowing how the loss of sex influences the ability for populations to adapt to their local environment or to evolve defenses against herbivores.