evolgen

Welcome to evolgen at ScienceBlogs

Hello again to my long time evolgen readers, and nice to meet you to the first timers who have found the new site.

For my regular readers, this, for all intents and purposes, is the new evolgen. The old site is still around and will act as an archive of my previous evolgen posts, but if you happen to visit it you will notice some changes. It is now known as “Clash, Culture and Science” and this new incarnation of evolgen at ScienceBlogs will act as the new CONVERGENCE OF EVOLUTION AND GENETICS. Read my “farewell post” for more details.

As for my new readers that have discovered me via the ScienceBlogs syndicate, I would like to introduce myself and describe the content of evolgen. As the name (and catchy slogan) implies, this blog deals with topics related to evolutionary biology and genetics, focusing on the interface of the two fields. If you are familiar with the subdisciplines, I post mostly on molecular evolution, population genetics, and genomics, with some molecular biology and classical genetics thrown in. Of course, it’s difficult to draw absolute delineations between each of those fields, and many posts tend to touch on a few different topics (hence, AT THE CONVERGENCE, although “coalescence” would be more apropos).

For a taste of evolgen, check out these posts from the old site:
*Cryptic Species
*Human Inversion Under Selection
*The Cambrian Explosion Never Happened
*On the origin of life
*Chimera
*Random Mutation and Natural Selection
*The Genotype and the Phenotype and How to Measure Divergence
*Can you marry your half-sister’s daughter?
*Species Sampling for Whole Genome Sequencing
*A Few Words on Speciation
*Mean Fitness, Genetic Load, and the Misapplication of Population Genetics Metrics
*Why Study Speciation Genes?
*Are Deletions Deleterious? Part 1, Part 2

I have also been working on series entitled “Detecting Natural Selection Using Molecular Data”, which has been featured at Transitions (a site dedicated to fostering evolutionary education put together by another ScienceBlogger, afarensis). This is currently still a work in progress, and these posts will appear at the old site (for the sake of continuity). Here is what I have written so far:

1. Introduction
2. The Organization of the Genome
3. The Organization of Genes
4. Codon Based Models for Detecting Selection
5. Phylogenetics and Relative Rates
6. Allele and Genotype Frequencies in Populations
7. Calculating Nucleotide Sequence Polymorphism

That’s evolgen, and now for a little bit about me. I am a graduate student working on a Ph.D. in genetics at a large university in the eastern United States (some people know who I am, some don’t, and I would appreciate it if we could at least retain the illusion of anonymity even if I don’t mask my true identity very well). My research deals with genome rearrangements, ranging from the molecular processes underlying their origins to how they affect meiosis and recombination to how they influence the evolution of the nucleotide sequences located within them. I am in no way, shape, or form an organismal biologist nor am I an ecologist, and if you catch me out of my element, by all means, please set me straight. Some may argue that I am a strict reductionist, and I reply by saying, “Who cares?”