I am currently pursuing a Ph.D. under the guidance of Prof. Yaowu Yuan in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Connecticut. Prior to joining the Yuan Lab, I was employed as a research technician in the laboratory of Professor Harry Frank of the UConn Chemistry department. As a technician, my primary research project was an investigation into the mechanisms of pigmentation in the bright plumage of various birds. These studies included the extraction and identification of pigments from a wide variety of plumage patches, as well as the use of resonance Raman spectroscopy to investigate how coloration is modulated through pigment-protein interactions. I became fascinated with the way that color distribution is so precisely regulated in feathers--each individual feather develops with the pigmentation that it needs in order to create a larger body pattern. It was during this time that I decided to learn more about gene expression and evolutionary development.
The Yuan Lab uses an integrated genetics and genomics approach to investigate the molecular bases of phenotypic evolution within the wildflower genus Mimulus (monkeyflowers).My current research explores the genetic regulation of a novel pattern phenotype in foliage in the Crimson monkeyflower, Mimulus verbenaceus.
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