About us

We are a diverse group of scientists that aim to highlight some of the exciting papers published in both Molecular Ecology and Molecular Ecology Resources and promote this work to a broader audience.

We are committed to improving all aspects of diversity in the field of molecular ecology and beyond. We support Black Lives Matter and stand with those seeking to eliminate racism in science and society.

Daniel Ortiz-Barrientos
University of Queensland, Australia

Daniel is an Associate Professor in the School of Biological Sciences at The University of Queensland. Daniel’s lab is currently focused on understanding the genetics of parallel evolution in an Australian wildflower, the evolution of recombination rates during divergence, and how gametic interactions evolve. They use a variety of genetic, physiological and ecological tools to investigate the origin of new species and adaptations, primarily in plants.

Nick Fountain-Jones
University of Tasmania, Australia

Nick Fountain-Jones is an early career disease ecologist with broad interests in how organisms including pathogens disperse or transmit and interact with one another and their environment and ultimately how this could shape evolution. He utilizes observational and mechanistic approaches, incorporating phylogeographic, community phylogenetic, network and functional data and techniques. In particular, he is interested in how molecular data can be analysed using phylogeographic, network and community-level analyses leveraging advances in machine learning and Bayesian statistics. He received his PhD from the University of Tasmania in 2015.

Megan Smith
Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA

Megan’s research focuses on understanding the processes that lead to speciation. She uses genomic, ecological, and morphological data to understand how neutral and adaptive processes contribute to diversification. Currently, Megan is a PhD candidate at Ohio State University in Bryan Carstens’ lab. Her dissertation work has focused on terrestrial gastropods endemic to the rainforests of the Pacific Northwest of North America.

Luke Browne
Yale University, USA

Luke’s research focuses on the ecology, evolution, and conservation of plants. He is interested in understanding how processes of global change, like habitat loss and climate change, will impact the genetic diversity of plant species and consequently influence their ability to survive and adapt to these changes. He uses a combination of observational and experimental studies to investigate the processes that influence genetic diversity and how genetic diversity in turn impacts plant growth and survival.

Samridhi Chaturvedi
Harvard University, Massachusetts, USA

My research focuses on the genomic basis of adaptation and speciation. I am interested in understanding how populations adapt to contemporary habitat changes and how patterns of genomic introgression and hybridization can inform our understanding of speciation and biodiversity.

Under this broad research approach, I am interested in quantifying evolutionary predictability in the context of phenotypes, genotypes, space and time and I use a combination of field-based, experimental and molecular approaches to generate genome level data to answer my research questions. I received my PhD from Utah State University in Logan in 2019, focusing on the quantification of predictable genomic changes underlying the evolution of Lycaeides butterflies. As a postdoc at the Arnold Arboretum at Harvard University, I am working with Phlox flowers and aim to dissect the gene regulatory basis of incomptability in pollen-pistil interactions and understand the genomic patterns of hybridization and introgression in Phlox species.

Rebecca (Beki) Hooper
University of Exeter, Penryn, UK

Beki’s primary research interests centre on understanding social evolution by working at the interface of behavioural, evolutionary and molecular ecology. She is currently a PhD student at the University of Exeter’s Cornwall campus, and is investigating the causes and consequences of avian social bonds, specifically in jackdaws – a member of the Corvid family. To do this she is using both behavioural and genomic approaches. Beki has previously worked on social behaviour in primates, spatial ecology in barnacles, and the microbiome of killer whales.

Janna Willoughby
Auburn University, USA

Janna is an Assistant Professor in the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences at Auburn University. In her lab, research focuses on the conservation and population genetics of a variety of species including Kangaroo rats, Steller sea lions, and Alaskan caribou. These projects use a variety of data and analysis techniques, including long term population monitoring data, genetic and genomic analyses, as well as agent-based models and simulations.