Leslie Turner



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Research interests

My research focuses on genetic mechanisms underlying the speciation process. I investigate hybrid male sterility, a key reproductive barrier between house mouse subspecies, using a combination of experimental and bioinformatic approaches. Linking genotype to phenotype and fitness in nature is the ultimate goal of most evolutionary genetics research, but is rarely accomplished in practice.

My research integrates laboratory studies of strains derived from mice wild-caught in a hybrid zone with population genomics of natural hybrid and pure populations. This strategy will enable me to elucidate the molecular and developmental mechanisms underlying reproductive barriers in detail, and infer the evolutionary history and dynamics of the causative genes.

My long-term goals are to:

  • identify variation in genes and gene networks contributing to reproductive isolation in natural populations of house mice.
  • characterise the effects of these genetic variants on protein abundance, structure, and function.
  • measure the effects of isolation traits and alleles on organismal fitness.  


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