PI: Qixin He
Evolution is the logic backbone of any biological phenomenon. Since the modern synthesis, many quantitative evolutionary models (especially in the field of population genetics) have been developed to decipher the mode, tempo, and impact of evolution on the diversification of populations, species, and communities. These models have been successful and sufficient until recently, with the explosion of genomic data. The advent of a vast amount of genomic resources not only grants us the luxury of asking new questions but also, at the same time, requires new models, new tests and new statistical tools to understand the complexity of nature.
I am particularly passionate about building theoretical models and applying them empirically to understand the evolution and structuring of population diversities in time and space. I integrate concepts and tools from population genetics, genomic evolution, and disease ecology, and develop new methodologies to answer questions regarding rapid adaptation, range expansions and contractions, and parasite-pathogen coevolution.
Rotating Graduate Student:
James Leslie Myers-Hansen
My interest is generally in infectious disease research. I am particularly interested in the use of molecular and genomic tools for the spatial and temporal tracking of malaria parasites and vectors in order to gain insight into transmission changes, and the spread of drug and insecticide resistance as control interventions are applied. I love cooking and playing soccer outside my working hours.
I am a recent graduate of the University of Chicago, where I majored in Biology and Cinema and Media Studies. My research interests are currently centered around modeling the evolution and spread of drug resistance in populations of malaria parasites, but I have also worked on insect and bird ecology and evolution projects in the past. In my free time, I enjoy making experimental films and watching birds.
I study genomics and allergenic properties of house dust mites, and the many fascinating ways they interact with the environment, humans, and other organisms. At Purdue, we will conduct a global survey of wild house dust mites, create a probabilistic model of mite invasion to human houses from wild habitats following climate change, and predict their allergenic propensities based on conservatism/variability of known IgE epitopes. We will also explore the possibility of creating a universal vaccine treating mite-induced allergic disorders using a murine model.