Participating Faculty
Joanna Kelley
Name:Joanna Kelley
Department:School of Biological Sciences
Credentials:2008 - PhD, University of Washington; Genome Sciences
Mailing Address:

School of Biological Sciences
PO Box 644236
Pullman, WA 99164-4236
Web Site:Click here

Research Interests

Adaptation and population differentiation. Population genomics.

Research Summary

My research examines the genomic basis of adaptation and speciation, with the ultimate goal of understanding how organisms diverge and adapt to the wide-range of environments they encounter. Understanding the origins of biodiversity requires fundamental knowledge of the mechanisms leading to phenotypic diversification and the mechanisms underlying the evolution of reproductive isolating barriers. Diversification and reproductive isolation often evolve together and can directly affect each other, such that reproductive isolation often evolves as a by-product of adaptive trait divergence.

Considerable progress has been made in understanding the mechanisms underlying adaptation and speciation in the past decades by integrating ecological and genetic approaches. However, elucidating the genetic basis of adaptation remains difficult, especially when basic genomic resources are lacking and the genomic regions that are the targets of selection are unknown. Recent technological advances permit the rapid and affordable generation of genome-scale data, including whole genome sequencing, measurement of gene expression levels and identification of epigenetic modifications. Coupled with important advances in bioinformatics and computation, these novel approaches offer an unprecedented ability to dissect the genomic basis of population differentiation and adaptation. My work utilizes a range of computational, molecular, and analytical approaches to address questions related to the genomic basis of organismal diversity, including reproductive isolation and barriers to reproduction, both pre- and post-zygotic. AS a faculty member, my research will combine genomics, evolutionary bioinformatics, and computational biology to understand the genetics of adaptation and speciation.

Research Publications

Kelley JL, Passow C, Plath M, Rodriguez L, Yee MC and M Tobler. (23012) genomic resources for a model in adaptation and speciation research: the characterization of the Poecilia Mexicana transcriptome. BMC Genomics. 13:652. Highly accessed.

Kelley JL (2012) Systematic underestimation of the age of selected alleles. Frontiers in Evolutionary and Population Genetics. 3:165.

Kelley JL, Yee MC, Lee C, Levandowsky E, Shah M, Harkins T, Earley RL and CD Bustamante. (2012) The possibility of de novo genome assembly and population genomics in the mangrove rivulus Kryptolebias marmoratus. Integrative and Comparative Biology. 52(6):737-42.

Hernandez RD, Kelley JL, Elyashiv E, Melton SC, Auton A, McVean G, Sella G, Przeworski M and 1000 Genomes Project Consortium. (2011) Classic selective sweeps were rare in recent human evolution. Science 331:920-24.

1000 Genomes Project Consortium, Abecasis GR, Altshuler DL, Auton A, Brooks LD, Durbin RM, Gibbs RA, Hurles ME, McVean GA (2010) A map of human genome variation from population-scale sequencing. Nature 467:1061-73.

Kelley JL, Aagaard J, MacCoss M, and W. Swanson. (2010) Functional diversification and evolution of antifreeze proteins in the Antarctic fish Lycodichthys dearborni. Journal of Molecular Evolution 71:111-118.

Washington State University