John Logsdon, PhD
Molecular origins and evolution of sexual reproduction
Research in my lab describes and analyzes the molecular natural history of sexual reproduction. We focus specifically on the evolution of meiosis, the special cell division that allows for sex to proceed. We are studying diverse biological systems that appear, in various ways, to be exceptions to many "rules" in sexual biology. Using data gathered from studies of these various organisms, we ask and attempt to answer some of the following questions: When did sex & meiosis arise? How and from what prior function(s) did sex & meiosis derive? How has sex subsequently evolved? Can sex & meiosis be lost? More generally, my research interests are generally in the molecular genetic aspects of evolution with a focus on the origin and evolution of eukaryotes and their genomes. See the lab website for more information.
Interest in evolutionary and/or molecular biology; for 1st-year students, a 3.5 high school GPA; for all others, a 3.0 university GPA.
Undergraduate research is a significant part of the Logsdon lab: in the past 10 years, we have hosted 29 undergraduate student researchers. The methods used in these research projects have varied from molecular biology to entirely computational approaches. Students are provided solid training in various methodologies including DNA isolation, PCR, sequencing, and other methods as needed. Undergraduates researchers generally start work on a semi-independent research project in collaboration with a more senior lab member, and then eventually develop that project on their own.