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Research associate, Biodiversity, University of British Columbia

My research focuses on understanding how plants adapt to different (and changing) environments. My aim is to link ecological processes (i.e. what are the traits that allow a plant to survive in a certain environment) to genetic variation (i.e. what are the genes, and molecular mechanisms, that are important for those adaptation). To do so, I use an ever-expanding mix of molecular and developmental biology, genetics, (population) genomics, physiology, and field studies.

My interest in adaptation started during my PhD, studying the genes underlying phenotypic diversity between natural populations of Arabidopsis thaliana. From there I switched to wild sunflowers, which are a classic model system for studies of adaptation and speciation; most of my work in sunflowers focuses on understanding the role of chromosomal structural variants in generating and maintaining complex adaptations, and the genetic regulation and adaptive relevance of colour patterning (floral UV patterns and seed camouflage). In the past few years, I have also led large research efforts in cannabis genomics, aimed at obtaining a better understanding of cannabis diversity and of its domestication history, and at developing genomic-based approaches to its improvement.


  • 2017–present
    Research Associate, University of British Columbia
  • 2013–2017
    Postdoctoral fellow, University of British Columbia
  • 2009–2012
    Postdoctoral fellow, Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology