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Joseph E. Neigel

1978 B.S. (Earth and Planetary Sciences) Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD

1984 Ph.D. (Genetics) University of Georgia, Athens, GA

My research is concerned with the processes that generate and shape genetic variation in natural populations. A combination of empirical and theoretical approaches are being developed to analyze gene flow, genetic drift, and concerted evolution. These population genetic processes are then studied in the context of historical biogeography, biodiversity, and conservation genetics.

My laboratory is fully equipped to apply modern molecular techniques to genetic analysis. PCR, DNA sequencing, RFLP analysis and molecular cloning are routinely performed, along with more specialized techniques such as denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). Both organellar (mitochondrial and chloroplast) and nuclear DNA variation are analyzed. Data analysis and simulation modelling are performed in a well equipped microcomputer lab. Current research projects include studies of corals, fish and marine crustaceans. However work on other organisms, including plants, may also be conducted. Research problems are selected to address fundamental questions and processes, rather than to focus on any particular taxon. Students are encouraged to develop a basic mastery of modern molecular methods, and then to apply these methods to a research problem of their interest. A major emphasis of ongoing projects is the analysis of genetic differences between populations of marine organisms. We are exploring the use of genetic markers that reflect different forms of genetic variation, and thus may respond differently to the processes that lead to genetic divergence between populations. A better understanding of these processes is central to the study of evolution, as well as to the emerging field of conservation genetics. Members of my laboratory interact extensively with other members of our molecular evolution group, through journal clubs and seminars.

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Feel free to contact me at this address:

Joseph E. Neigel, Department of Biology, PO Box 42451, Lafayette, LA 70504 or Telephone: (337) 482-5661