Bridgett vonHoldt

Assistant Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Office Phone
328 Moffett Laboratory

Research Interests

Genomic and epigenetic variation associated with complex traits and evolutionary change; admixed ancestry and introgression genetics.

Domesticated species were the first genetic model systems, exemplified by classical genetic studies that examined the inheritance of phenotype variants. Yet, the full suite of molecular events that occur during domestication is still unknown. Being among the first domesticated species, canines are an ideal system to study genomic and phenotypic evolution. The domestic dog has a wide range of phenotypic diversity, nearly all of which is lacking in their gray wolf ancestor, and has been the focus of many gene mapping studies that have identified genes of large phenotypic effect as well as disease-associated variants. However, the evolutionary history of these traits has remained largely unexplored. What are the functional molecular changes that occurred during the domestication of the dog? What are the differences in genomic structure and transposon insertion sites found between the domestic dog and gray wolf genomes? Are gene expression differences in dogs associated with phenotypic diversification?

Selected Publications