Aneil Agrawalprincipal investigator

I use theory, experiments, and genomics to study two main problems: (1) Why do organisms shuffle their genomes through sex and recombination? (2) What are the evolutionary consequences of the constant influx of new deleterious mutations? Through these questions, I have also worked on a variety of other topics including sexual selection, rates of adaptation, and host-parasite co-evolution.

Eddie HoPhD student

Eddie uses both theory and experiments to understand how evolution works in sexual and asexual populations. On the theoretical side, Eddie has developed a model of species level selection to study how the decay of asexual genomes via Muller’s Ratchet affects the frequency and age distributions of asexual taxa relative to sexual taxa. He is also working on models to understand how asexual populations evolve in temporally varying environments, investigating the interplay of beneficial and deleterious mutations when selection changes in strength. In addition, he is testing some of these ideas with experimental populations of rotifers maintained with or without sex. He is supported by an NSERC CGS-M fellowship.

Amardeep SinghPhD student

Amardeep’s MSc in the lab was co-supervised by Howard Rundle (U Ottawa). For that project, Amardeep investigated how the environment in which males and females interact, which mediates aspects of both sexual selection and sexual conflict, affects the rate at which deleterious alleles are purged. For his PhD, Amardeep is examining differences between the sexes in the direction or strength of selection across the genome.

Li YunPhD student

Li first joined the lab as an undergrad, completing an impressive study showing that variation in inbreeding depression across 22 environments is better related to density-dependence than to stress. For his Master’s, Li is using experimental evolution to ask how sexual selection–and the arena in which mating interactions occur–affects the genomics of adaptation to several different abiotic environments. Li is co-supervised by Howard Rundle (U Ottawa).


George Sandler MSc student

George is jointly supervised by Aneil Agrawal and Stephen Wright. He is working on understanding the selective causes and consequences of sexual and asexual modes of reproduction in duckweeds. His work uses both experimental and genomic approaches.

Ao Wang MSc student

Ao is testing whether experimental fly populations that have evolved with or without heterogeneity with respect to dietary stresses have evolved robustness to other types of environmental stresses.


Kim Gilbert (PDF, 2017), went on to an EMBO PDF position with L. Excoffier at U of Bern.
Alison Wardlaw (PhD, 2016), went on to a postdoc with Y. Brandvain at U Minnesota.
Matty Hartfield (postdoc, 2016), went on to postdoc with T. Bataillon at Aarhus University (Denmark).
Yuheng Huang (PhD, 2015), went on to postdoc with J. Pool at U Wisconsin.
Maggie Bartowska (postdoc, 2015), went on to postdoc with C. Eckert at Queen’s University.
Pepijn Luijckx (postdoc, 2015), now faculty at Trinity College Dublin.
Nathaniel Sharp (PhD, 2014), went on to postdoc with S. Otto and M. Whitlock at UBC as an NSERC, Killam, and Banting postdoc fellow
Alethea Wang (PhD, 2013), went on to postdoc at University College London.
Tristan Long (postdoc, 2011), now faculty at Wilfred Laurier University.
Lutz Becks (postdoc, 2010), now Emmy Noether research group leader at Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology (Germany).
Andrea Zikovitz (Msc, 2010), went on to Guelph vet school.
Katherine Tedman-Aucoin (Msc, 2008), went on to McGill med school.
Chrissy Spencer (postdoc, 2007), now an academic professional at Georgia Tech University.


Lab Pictures!

Celebrating Eddie’s Ph.D. defense (2017).


Celebrating Alison’s Ph.D. defense (2016).
Left: Graduation cake. Right: End of the night scotch


Celebrating Yuheng’s Ph.D. defense (2015).
Left: At Yuheng’s convocation. Right: Lab picture at Yuheng’s defense party

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Lab party celebrating Nathaniel’s Ph.D. defense (2014).
Left: Aneil and Nathaniel with his external examiner, Bill Rice. Right: Celebratory drink!

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Lab party celebrating Alethea’s Ph.D. defense (2013).

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Lab photo 2011.



Lab photo 2009.



Lab photo 2008.



Lab photos in 2007 (left) and 2006 (right).

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