Welcome to the Ecological & Evolutionary Genomics Lab at the
University of Alabama in Huntsville

Our lab investigates how the ecology of a species shapes patterns of variation (from genes to genomes), how populations adapt to environmental shifts and the implication of ecological adaptation in the process of speciation. Our research revolves around these fundamental aspects of evolution. Our work focuses on: (i) the study of the genetical basis of adaptation; (ii) analysis of genome evolution via the sequencing and assembly for several cactophilic Drosophila species; (iii) examining the role of gene expression changes in evolution; (iv) the effects of ecological adaptation in behavioral evolution and its effects on reproductive isolation; (v) speciation genetics/genomics; (vi) the relationship between molecular, expression and life history variation and evolution; (vii) using new genome editing techniques, CRISPR-Cas9, assess the functional consequence of variants in an ecological context. We mostly focus on a group of cactophilic Drosophila that inhabit the deserts of North America. These Drosophila species are an excellent system to study given that their ecology is well understood and the fact that we can perform many genetic, genomic, manipulative and life history experiments.


Selected publications (for complete list click here)

Bono, J., Killian, E. O., Matzkin, L. M. (2015). Connecting genotypes, phenotypes, and fitness: Harnessing the power of CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing. Molecular Ecology. 24:3810-3822.

Matzkin, L. M. 
(2014). Ecological genomics of host shifts in Drosophila mojavensis. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology.  781:233-247.  doi: 10.1007/978-94-007-7347-9_12

Matzkin, L. M. (2012). Population transcriptomics of cactus host shifts in Drosophila mojavensis. Molecular Ecology. 21:2428-2439.

Lang, M., Murat, S., Clark, A. G. Gouppil, G., Blais, C., Matzkin, L. M., Guittard, E., Yoshiyama-Ynagawa, T., Kataoka, H., Niwa, R., Lafont, R., Dauphin-Villemant, C., and Orgogozo, V. (2012). Mutations in the neverland gene turned Drosophila pachea into an obligate specialist species. Science. 337:1658-1661.

Bono, J. M.*, Matzkin, L. M.*, Kelleher, E. S., Markow, T. A. (2011). Postmating transcriptional changes in reproductive tracts of con- and heterospecifically-mated Drosophila mojavensis females. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 108:7878-7883. (*Authors contributed equally).

Matzkin, L. M.
(2008). The molecular basis of host adaptation in cactophilic Drosophila: Molecular evolution of Glutathione- S-transferase (GstD1) in Drosophila mojavensis. Genetics. 178:1073-1083.

12 Genomes Consortium (Matzkin, L. M. co-author).  (2007). Evolution of genes and genomes on the Drosophila phylogeny.  Nature. 450:203-218.

Email: lmm0015@uah.edu
Address: Department of Biological Sciences
The University of Alabama Huntsville
301 Sparkman Drive
Huntsville, AL 35899
Office Phone: (256) 824-4326
Lab Phone: (256) 824-6968


Department of Biological Sciences