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Professor, Yale University

Jeffrey R. Powell did his undergraduate work at the University of Notre Dame where he started working on the mosquito Aedes aegypti under the direction of George B. Craig. In 1969 he went to graduate school at The Rockefeller University where he began empirical population genetics studies of Drosophila under the mentorship of Theodosius Dobzhansky. He obtained his Ph. D. in 1972 from the University of California, Davis, where he moved with Dobzhansky in 1971. He began as an Assistant Professor at Yale in 1972 and has been on the faculty since. He has spent sabbatical leaves at the University of California (Riverside), University of Rome, California Institute of Technology, and Cambridge University. He continues to work on Drosophila and mosquitoes, while initiating in 1991 a research program on genetics of Galápagos tortoises that has taken on a life of its own. His major interests are basic issues of evolutionary genetics and molecular evolution largely using Drosophila as a model organism and application of genetic technologies and concepts to mosquitoes to aid in control of diseases they transmit. He has mentored 23 Ph. D. students to completion, 24 postdoctorals, and >40 undergraduates, as well as hosted six sabbatical visitors.


  • –present
    Professor of Ecology/Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Health Sciences, Yale University