Welcome to the Ballerini Lab!
Dept. of Biological Sciences
Sacramento State University
Evolution, Ecology, Genetics, & Development
The focal point of our research is aimed at comprehending the origin of species and the phenotypic diversity that they encompass. Our research interests lie at the intersection of evolution, ecology, genetics, and developmental biology.
How has species diversity evolved? What is the genetic basis of adaptive traits? What is the genetic basis of reproductive isolation? Through what developmental processes does genetic variation act to generate phenotypic variation? Does the evolution of convergent phenotypes occur through modifications in the same genes?
Answers through Aquilegia
The plant genus Aquilegia (common name: columbine) is particularly well-suited to address these questions. The genus consists of ~70 species that have evolved in the past ~5-7 million years. This recent and rapid burst in diversification, attributed to the evolution of floral nectar spurs, has a major consequence: reproductive isolation is not complete. This feature is important as fertile hybrids can be generated allowing for the genetic dissection of phenotypic traits. In addition, the genetic variants causing reproductive isolation are less likely to be confounded by genetic factors that evolved secondarily.
Interested in Joining the Ballerini Lab?
Contact Dr. Ballerini about the possibility of conducting undergraduate research or applying for the MA graduate program at Sacramento State
DEPARTMENT OF BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES
SACRAMENTO STATE UNIVERSITY
6000 J ST
SACRAMENTO, CA 95819
OFFICE: TSC 4015