"Genomic insights into adaptation of humans to rainforest environments"
Christina Bergey will be talking about her research at this CEMinar. At the Bergey Lab in the Rutgers University Department of Genetics, her research aims to understand how organisms adapt to their environment with a focus on the evolution of complex, polygenic traits. To do so, she uses population, evolutionary and functional genomic approaches to understand the effects of past selection on modern medically-relevant phenotypes, testing evolutionary hypotheses in humans, non-human primates and disease vectors. More broadly, she wants to understand how ecological, behavioral, cultural or anthropogenic factors impact adaptive evolution.
Her lab's current major projects include:
Investigating human adaptations to life in the rainforests of Africa, including the evolution of small body size (the “pygmy” phenotype) in rainforest hunter-gatherers.
Understanding the co-evolution of malaria with its human and primate hosts and mosquito vector.
Exploring how primates have adapted to their environments with a particular focus on gene flow between species in Africa.