Associate Professor, Department of Biology, Reed College, Portland, OR 97202
Through the synthesis of comparative genomics with functional studies in behavior, physiology, and ecology, the Renn lab aims to understand the genomic basis of behavior from an evolutionary perspective. Primarily, we use African Cichlid Fishes as our model system. These fishes have experienced an incredibly rapid recent and repeated evolutionary radiation resulting in thousands of closely related species that exhibit a wealth of morphological and behavioral diversity despite very low genomic sequence divergence. We aim to identify both structural (gene duplicates) and functional (gene expression and gene regulation) differences among genomes that are responsible for this rich species diversity.
The Reed College undergraduate students in my lab and courses use microarray techniques including aCGH, and heterologous hybridization as well as next-generation sequencing technologies for RNA-seq, transcriptome assembly and enhancer sequencing. These data are analyzed in light of behavioral observations and manipulations as well as hormone assays and in situ hybridization using bioinformatics tools.
The Renn lab welcomes inquires from students and researchers interested in EDEN sponsored summer research exchange