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We are interested in understanding how genetic and ecosystem interactions drive biodiversity. We are sequencing several amphibian genomes in order to gain insight into the remarkable physiological and behavioral diversity seen in these animals.

Evolution of Aposematism

O'Connell Lab Aposematism Project Logo

Lab members: 

Poison frogs have evolved some complex traits including variation in warning coloration, defensive chemicals, and behavior. We are working in the lab and field to understand how these unique traits have evolved within a complex ecosystem through interactions with arthropod prey and frog predators. Collaborators: Luis Coloma (Centro Jambatu), Brice Noonan (University of Mississippi), Aaron Comeault (University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill), and Bibiana Rojas (University of Jyväskylä).

Comparative Functional Genomics

O'Connell Lab EDGE Functional Genomics Logo

Lab members: 

Many evolutionary innovations in physiology and behavior have evolved repeatedly, including parental behavior, chemical defenses, and bright warning coloration. We are using comparative genomics to understand the convergence of toxicity and aposematism in South American and Malagasy poison frogs. Collaborators: Miguel Vences (Technical University of Braunschweig) and Luis Coloma (Centro Jambatu).