Join our lab group

We are recruiting highly motivated postdoctoral, graduate, and undergraduate trainees. Click the "Contact Us" link above for contact information.

drawing of English pouter

Science pigeon cover

 

current biology cover of an english pouter

(click images to enlarge)

Pigeon genetics

Members of the pigeon hobbyist community are urged to contact us about our ongoing pigeon genetics project. See the press coverage of our recent publications here!

 

Upcoming Events

November 14-16, 2014: University of Utah Evolutionary Molecular Genetics Retreat @ Deer Valley

Calendar Links

Department of Biology calendar

Campus-wide Bioscience calendar

Genetics Interest Group schedule

ninespine sticklebacks

Now you see it, now you don't. Most ninespine sticklebacks have a complete pelvic girdle (top), but fish from several populations have lost this complex structure (bottom). This is a major evolutionary change - the pelvis is the developmental equivalent of the legs of land animals.

Genetics of variation. Many breeds of domestic pigeon have crests of reversed feathers on the back of the head and neck. The same genetic change probably acts as an "on/off" switch for crest development in different breeds.

The Genetic and Developmental Basis of Evolutionary Change

What are the genetic and developmental origins of unique traits in natural populations and species of vertebrates? In most cases of trait evolution in natural and domesticated species, we do not know how many genes are involved, which genes are actually responsible for morphological change, whether alterations to these genes affect coding or regulatory regions, or whether the same genes are involved repeatedly in the evolution of similar traits in different populations and species. Our work addresses these major issues.

News

11/2014

Pigeonetics virtual pigeon breeder video game is now live! This project is a collaboration with the Genetic Science Learning Center and is funded in part by Mike's NSF CAREER award. Click here to access the game directly, and here for a link to associated materials about inheritance of different traits in pigeons.

8/2014

Mike gave an update on the Dimensions of Biodiversity project (collaboration with Dale Clayton, Sarah Bush, and Kevin Johnson) at the 5th International Conference of Phthiraptera. Now we officially study pigeons and their parasites!

7/2014

Mike gave an invited talk in the evo-devo symposium at the Society for Developmental Biology meeting in Seattle.

6/2014

Another great pigeon video from Jim Jenner: "Young Wings." Check out the premier draft on vimeo.

6/2014

Mike gave a talk in the Next Generation Genome Annotation and Analysis symposium at the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution meeting in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

5/2014

Congratulations to our new graduates, Anna Vickrey and Annah Frisch! Anna graduated with a bachelor's degree in Biology, and Annah was a double-major in Biology and Anthropology.

4/2014

Congratulations to Dr. Sydney Stringham! Sydney successfully defended her Ph.D. disseration on April 30.

4/2014

Marissa Burton was accepted into the summer Biology Undergraduate Research Program!

4/2014

Rebecca Bruders has joined the lab to do her Ph.D. research. Welcome, Rebecca!

4/2014

Sara Fauver was awarded a Myriad Genetics undergraduate scholarship -- congratuations, Sara!

4/2014

Technician Mike Guernsey is leaving the lab and will attend graduate school in the Department of Developmental Biology at Stanford University in the Fall. He also received an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. Congratuations, Mike!

3/2014

We received an NSF Reserach Experience for Undergraduates grant supplement to fund ongoing undergraduate research in the lab.

3/2014

Just published:

C.T. Miller, A.M. Glazer, B.R. Summers, B.K. Blackman, A.R. Norman, M.D. Shapiro, B.L. Cole, C.L. Peichel, D. Schluter, D.M. Kingsley. Additive and clustered quantitative trait loci control anatomically regional skeletal evolution in sticklebacks. Genetics 196: 10.1534/genetics.114.162420.. Access the paper here at the Genetics website.

2/2014

mustache pigeonFeb 14: Happy National Lab Mustache Day!

2/2014

English trumpetersCheck out Lindsay Whitehurt's article about our pigmentation genetics work in the Salt Lake Tribune, and Sudeshna Chowdhury's story in the Christian Science Monitor. Also see the press release at the University of Utah News Center.

2/2014

Our paper on pigmentation genetics and genomics in pigeons was published online in Current Biology. This paper reports the identification of mutations in three genes that underlie major pigeon plumage color differences, and provides new insights about the molecular basis of dominance and epistasis. Domyan et al. (2014) Epistatic and combinatorial effects of pigmentary gene mutations in the domestic pigeon. Current Biology vol. 24. Get the pdf here.

1/2014

Rebecca Bruders (Biology MCEB program) and Julia Carleton (Molecular Biology program) joined the lab as rotation students.

 

Click here for our news archive

Who's' visiting? (Since June 2013)