Jon has always been drawn to the forest. From the towering conifers of the Pacific Northwest’s rainforests to the scrubby chaparral of his home town in southern Oregon, he’s awed by the diversity and resilience of trees. While studying forest and conservation sciences as an undergraduate, understanding the basis of that diversity became Jon’s passion. His broad research interests are in the utilization of genomic data to answer long-standing evolutionary questions surrounding adaptation and speciation.
Hybridization between species is an important factor in speciation and the development of standing genetic variation for many plants. Advances in genomic data are allowing us to analyze hybridization at unprecedented resolution and scale, seeing how it plays out even at the molecular level. Under the co-supervision of Drs. Sally Aitken and Loren Rieseberg, Jon is studying the genomic impacts of species hybridization in the interior spruce (Picea glauca x P. engelmannii) hybrid zone in British Columbia and Alberta. He is specifically looking to see if a few genetic loci of large importance enforce species boundaries in this hybrid complex, and to see if there are loci that appear to be widely adaptive throughout the hybrid zone. The data generated as part of AdapTree is ideal in both geographic and genomic scope to answer these questions.
Department of Forest Science, University of British Columbia, #3041 – 2424 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z4
|Links: CFCG project