nadeesha 1I am interested in the causes and consequences of variation in gene flow rate along genomes of hybridizing taxa.

My work at Duke focuses on two adaptively diverged Boechera stricta subspecies in an environmentally heterogeneous hybrid zone. Using next generation sequence data from several hundred accessions, my dissertation focuses on the following questions:

1) What are the outcomes of gene flow during secondary contact in an environmentally heterogeneous hybrid zone?
2) How much gene flow is driven by selection versus neutral diffusion?
3) What are the effects of a complex mating system, featuring apomixis and low outcrossing rates, on gene flow rate variation?
4) What genes underlie adaptation to wetter versus drier environments?

When not in the lab, I advocate and fundraise for women’s rights in conjunction with groups such as Population Connection, a non-profit that targets world hunger, deforestation and climate change through improving reproductive healthcare access for women in the developing world.