Bio: Kathryn R. Elmer (PI)

Dr. Kathryn R. Elmer (PI)

My primary motivation is to understand the role of natural selection and the environment in the diversification of species. By focusing on replicate geographical contexts and benefiting from our burgeoning ability to ‘genomicize’ ecological model systems, I endeavour to address long-standing questions about evolution in new ways. My research program is built upon two major hierarchies of questions:

1. How does natural selection act on the genomic and phenotypic variability of populations to promote speciation? How and when can we discern selective from non-selective factors in evolution?
2. What is the role of genetic variation and genome architecture in the potential for adaptation and speciation? Is there concordance between phenotypic and genetic responses to natural selection?

To answer these questions I pursue an integrated genetic, genomic, and ecological approach in a comparative framework that allows me to partition elements of variation. In particular, I focus on parallel adaptive radiations, especially of 'ichs and herps'. Such closely related taxa in a radiation represent phylogenetically-controlled ‘speciation in action’, from the initial stages of population divergence through to behavioural and genetic isolation. These lines of inquiry contribute to my over-arching research hypothesis, which is that genomic architecture, or the organization of variability, determines a lineage’s potential to diversify.

Here is a link to my Uni homepage, with current projects and interests, research funding, and publications.

Lecturer (Glasgow, UK) 2012-2016, Senior Lecturer 2016-
Assistant Professor (Konstanz, Germany) 2011-12
NSERC Postdoctoral Fellow (Konstanz, Germany) 2009-11
Genomics Centre Manager (Konstanz, Germany; part-time acting) 2009-11
Alexander von Humboldt Postdoctoral Fellow (Konstanz, Germany) 2007-09
PhD, Queen's University (Kingston, Canada) 2006

Recent Awards and Honours
Royal Society of Edinburgh's Young Academy of Scotland (2016-2021)
Fisheries Society of the British Isles Medal for research contributions (2015)
Scottish Crucible (2014 entry)

Collecting data in Nicaragua