Our areas of interest are evolutionary genetics and genomics. We investigate how interactions at different levels of organization (e.g. among genes, individuals, species, and communities) shape biological systems. Our research approach combines genetic, genomic, molecular, and population studies to important questions in biology. Current research is focused on three broad topics,
(1) Evolutionary Innovation: “How do new genes and new gene functions evolve?“
(2) Biology of Symbionts & Parasites “How does parasitism and symbiosis shape the evolution of life across different biological levels?”
(3) Development of the parasitoid Nasonia as a model insect system.
More detail is provided on the Research page. Jack Werren’s CV can be found here.
Our laboratory is also known for key work on the biology of Wolbachia, a widespread and common bacteria, and on advancing the parasitoid insect Nasonia (aka the jewel wasp) as a model insect system for genetics and development. Links on these topics are provided above, as well as our activities in educational outreach.