We are broadly interested in the evolution of transcriptional regulation, using a combination of experimental and computational approaches. Our research spans scales from single nucleotides to entire genomes. At the finer end of this spectrum, we focus on the functional consequences and fitness components of specific genetic variants within regulatory sequences of several genes associated with traits of interest. At the other end of the spectrum, we develop computational and statistical methods to detect natural selection on regulatory elements and empirical approaches to identify functional variation in transcriptional regulation throughout the genome. At intermediate scales, we investigate natural functional variation within gene networks, including heritability, correlations across the network, natural selection, and associations with organismal traits. We address these questions in sea urchins, primates, and butterflies.



Dave and Alejo Take a Research Trip to Villefranche-sur-Mer

  With the purpose of understanding the mechanisms of sea urchin development, our researchers, Alejo and Dave, embarked on a four-week journey to the town of Villefranche-sur-Mer. They went to investigate the mechanisms of gene expression between the vegetal and animal sections of the sea urchin embryo of Paracentrotus lividus. This embryo has a pigmented …

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Zach and Brennan graduate with Distinction and Awards

Undergraduate researchers Zach Pracher and Brennan McDonald are graduating this spring with distinction in biology. They presented their work at the recent Duke Biology Poster Symposium. Brennan was awarded The James B. Rast Memorial Award in Comparative Organismal Biology. The award is given annually to the student who demonstrates the greatest achievement in the study …

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Retreat to the mountains

The Wray and McClay lab annual retreat to the mountains in Independence, VA was another success. We enjoyed research talks, hikes up the mountain, fall foliage, and competitive geoguesser.

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Tania and Micah present at CEGS

Tania and Micah both presented posters at the annual NIH Centers of Excellence in Genomic Sciences (CEGS) meeting in New York. 

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