My current research investigates patterns of seasonal genetic variation in natural populations of Drosophila melanogaster. I work with Dr. Alan Bergland at UVA.

My doctoral and master's thesis research studied patterns of genetic variation in natural populations of the circumboreal barnacle Semibalanus balanoides. I characterized what loci are under selection at different scales of environmental heterogeneity in intertidal habitats, i.e. upper/lower intertidal, estuaries, etc. My primary goal was to determine the identity of these ecologically important loci (i.e., whether selection is more pervasive in regulatory regions vs. protein coding regions), as well as the mechanisms that underlie their maintenance of genetic variation. As an inhabitant of a boundary ecosystem between areal and marine habitats, genomic studies on S. balanoides provide an invaluable opportunity to gain novel insights into micro-evolutionary responses to climate change. I conducted my research under the mentorship of David M. Rand at Brown University. I also did extensive collaborative work with members of the The Linnaeus Centre for Marine Evolutionary Biology: Kerstin JohannessonAnders Blomberg, and Magnus Rosenblad, working in different aspects of barnacle genomics and ecology. Part of this work is done at Tjärnö Lovéncentret in Sweden. 


My undergraduate studies were conducted on the mitochondrial genomics of the marine teleost Fundulus heteroclitus with Margie F. Oleksiak and Doug L. Crawford at the University of Miami

Brown University in the Fall

Barnacle zonation in Sweden. Summer 2019

 Doug Crawford, Margie Oleksiak, me, and David Rand (2018)

Kerstin Johannesson and me (2019)


2020 - Ph.D.

Brown University

Dept. of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

2018 - Sc.M.

Brown University

Dept. of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

2015 - Sc.B.

University of Miami (summa cum laude)

Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science

APPOINTMENTS (Recent & Current )



Brown University

Dept. of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology


Research Associate

University of Virginia

Dept. of Biology


I have conducted various educational outreach projects. During my time at Brown I worked with the team from the Brown Junior researchers program. This outreach program with the boys and girls club of Rhode Island that helps students from grades 1 – 5 conduct basic scientific experiments. Our goal is to bring science to the community and get little kids exited about the natural world. Prior to that, I worked with  STEM FYE program at Miami Dade College in Miami, FL. The main goal of these endeavors is to expose high school students, mostly of underrepresented backgrounds in science, to scientific research.


Website maintained by

 Joaquin C. B. Nunez

© 2020

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