Research

We are a dry lab, using a variety of approaches from population genetics in order to study fundamental evolutionary processes. This work can be summarized in to four primary research areas:

(i) Population Genetic Theory & Method Development: This line of research involves developing theory, as well as likelihood and approximate Bayesian based approaches, for quantifying and untangling the evolutionary pressures driving populations (e.g., Jensen 2014Ewing & Jensen 2016).

(ii) Viral Population Genetics: We have a major interest in the evolution of drug resistance in influenza virus, with this work strongly relating to our theory and method development as well – with a focus being the investigation of population genetic inference schemes for time-sampled polymorphism data (e.g., Foll et al. 2014Bank et al. 2016). We also work heavily in human cytomegalovirus (HCMV), working to unravel the demographic and selective processes underlying infection (e.g., Renzette et al. 2016Renzette et al. 2017).

(iii) The Evolution of Crypsis: This line of research seeks to identify and characterize both the genotype-phenotype connections, as well as the phenotype-fitness connections, underlying the evolution of cryptic coloration – in systems ranging from lizards to mice to hares (e.g., Linnen et al. 2013Laurent, Pfeifer et al. 2016).

(iv) Experimental Evolution: Finally, we work heavily in experimental evolution systems where we can control aspects of demography experimentally, and artificially generate mutations, in order to study the shape of the distribution of fitness effects (DFE) and the underlying fitness landscapes with much greater clarity than is possible in natural populations (e.g., Bank et al. 2014Bank, Matuszewski, et al. 2016).

 

The Jensen Lab is in the School of Life Sciences at Arizona State University, and we are part of a large and collaborative group in evolutionary genomics at ASU – see ASUpopgen.org. We are also members of the Center for Evolution & Medicine, and the Center for Mechanisms of Evolution.