Dr. Luciano M. Matzkin


Dr. Luciano M. Matzkin

Assistant Professor, Ecological & Evolutionary Genomics


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;. 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.

Visit the Matzkin Lab: Ecological & Evolutionary Genomics page.


  • Ph.D., Ecology and Evolution, State University of New York at Stony Brook, 2003

Classes Taught

Selected Publications

  • *Bono, J. M., *Matzkin, L. M., Hoang, K., Brandsmeier, L. (2015). Molecular evolution of candidate genes involved in post-mating-prezygotic reproductive isolation. Journal of evolutionary biology, 28, 403-414. (*Authors contributed equally, co-contribution authors).
  • Hoang, K., Matzkin, L. M., Bono, J. Transcriptional variation associated with cactus host plant adaptation in Drosophila mettleri. Molecular Ecology. Bono, J., Killian, E. O., Matzkin, L. M. Connecting genotypes, phenotypes, and fitness: Harnessing the power of CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing. Molecular Ecology.
  • "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. (2014).
  • "Preadult parental diet affects offspring development and metabolism in Drosophila melanogaster." PLoS ONE. 8:e59350. Matzkin, L. M., Johnson, S., Paight, C., and Markow, T. A. (2013).
  • "Transcriptional differentiation across the four cactus host races of Drosophila mojavensis." Speciation: Natural Processes, Genetics and Biodiversity. 119-135. Matzkin, L. M. and Markow, T.A. (2013).
  • "Mutations in the neverland gene turned Drosophila pachea into an obligate specialist species." Science. Volume, Page Numbers. Authors (Date).
  • "Article Title." Name of Publication. 337:1658-1661. 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).
  • "Population transcriptomics of cactus host shifts in Drosophila mojavensis." Molecular Ecology. 21:2428-2439. Matzkin, L. M. (2012).
  • "Postmating transcriptional changes in reproductive tracts of con- and heterospecifically-mated Drosophila mojavensis females." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 108:7878-7883. Bono, J. M.*, Matzkin, L. M.*, Kelleher, E. S., Markow, T. A. (2011).
  • "Diet, development and metabolic pools in ecologically diverse Drosophila." Journal of Nutrition. 141:1127–1133. Matzkin, L. M., Johnson, S., Paight, C., Bozinovic, G. and Markow, T.A. (2011).
  • "Transcriptional regulation of metabolism associated with the increased desiccation resistance of the cactophilic Drosophila mojavensis." Genetics. 182:1279-1288. Matzkin, L. M., and Markow, T. A. (2009).
  • "Polytene Chromosomal Maps of 11 Drosophila species: The order of genomic scaffolds inferred from genetic and physical maps." Genetics. 179:1601-1655. Schaeffer, S. W., Bhutkar, A., McAllister, B. F., Matsuda, M., Matzkin, L. M., et al. (2008).
  • "The molecular basis of host adaptation in cactophilic Drosophila: Molecular evolution of Glutathione-S-transferase (Gst) in Drosophila mojavensis." Genetics. 178:1073-1083. Matzkin, L. M. (2008).
  • "Evolution of genes and genomes on the Drosophila phylogeny." Nature. 450:203-218. Drosophila 12 Genomes Consortium (Matzkin, L. M. co-author). (2007).
  • "Functional genomics of cactus host shifts in Drosophila mojavensis." Molecular Ecology. 15:4635-4643. Matzkin, L. M., Watts, T. D., Bitler B. G., Machado, C. A. and Markow, T. A. (2006).