The Ph.D. Program in Computational Biology & Bioinformatics (CBB) is an integrative, multi-disciplinary training program that encompasses biology using computational and quantitative methods. In and out of the classroom, students learn to apply the tools of statistics, mathematics, computer science and informatics to biological problems. Vibrant and innovative research in these fields provides exciting interactions between biological and computational scientists. Because CBB is based in the Duke Center for Genomic and Computational Biology (GCB), it offers a unique opportunity for students to become tomorrow's leaders in genome sciences.
We are interested in natural genetic variation in plant populations. We work at several levels: genetic variation within populations, local adaptation among populations, and the evolution of species differences. Our research is focused on ecologically important traits and the molecular mechanisms that control them, and their interactions with environmental conditions in the field.
Our research is supported by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute.
We study genetic variation in plant populations, focusing on genes that influence traits controlling plant performance in an environmental context – a central theme throughout our research in natural and agricultural populations. Much of our work is focused on the genes that affect ecological success and evolutionary fitness in natural environments. Similarly, the interaction of crop plants with their biotic and abiotic environments is controlled by complex trait variation which can be elucidated by interdisciplinary analyses incorporating functional genomics, physiological and chemical ecology, and population and quantitative genetics. We work at several levels: genetic variation within populations, local adaptation among populations, and the evolution of species differences. Our study systems are centered on the wild relatives of Arabidopsis, as well as complex trait variation of rice in Asia and Africa.