- Assistant Professor of Biology
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Office: (434)924-1930
- Lab: (434)924-2332
- Office: GIL 063
- B.S., Stanford University, 2001
- Ph.D, Indiana University, 2009
My research focuses on the diversification in the phenotypic plasticity of developmental timing. Because environments fluctuate daily and seasonally, the onsets of major life history events--e.g. germination, flowering, hibernation--are responses partly or wholly cued by environmental signals. These responses are often the products of adaptive evolution because as species expand their ranges, colonize new environments, or adjust to historical and recent anthropogenic changes, the combination of environmental cues predictive for the optimal timing of developmental transitions may change dramatically. In my lab, we seek to address three major questions: 1) how do organisms integrate environmental cues to trigger developmental transitions, 2) through what mechanisms does this plasticity evolve and 3) what natural or anthropogenic factors have driven or maintain this variation?
By connecting genetic variation to phenotypes to survival and reproduction, my lab's work aims to understand all levels of the evolutionary process, and consequently our studies range from molecular genetics to population and quantitative genomics to ecological studies in natural environments. We work predominantly in two systems, sunflowers and monkeyflowers, that exhibit tremendous variation across broad geographic transects in how flowering responds to photoperiod and other environmental cues. Characterizing the genetic architecture and ecological pressures involved in adaptation of these species to diverse environments will allow us to develop improved functional models that predict how species may adapt to future global change. In sunflower, my work also examines the genetics of how flowering time and other traits evolved during its domestication because we seek to understand the dynamics of how novel and complex trait syndromes evolve.
Blackman B.K., Scascitelli M., Kane N.C., Luton H.H., Rasmussen D.A., Bye R.A., Lentz D.L., and Rieseberg L.H. 2011. Sunflower domestication alleles support single domestication center in eastern North America.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 108: 14350-14365 (2011).
Blackman B.K., Rasmussen D.A., Strasburg J.L., Raduski A.R., Burke J.M., Knapp S.J., Michaels S.D., and Rieseberg L.H. 2011. Contributions of flowering time genes to sunflower domestication and improvement.Genetics 187: 271-287.
Blackman B.K., Michaels S.D., and Rieseberg L.H. 2011. Connecting the sun to flowering in sunflower adaptation. Molecular Ecology 20: 3503-3512.
Blackman B.K., Strasburg J.L., Raduski A.R., Michaels S.D., and Rieseberg L.H. 2010. The role of recently derived FT paralogs in sunflower domestication. Current Biology 20: 629-635.