Current R-I Lab members

Please read more information on joining the lab


Luis Avila

Luis is a postdoctoral scholar working on extant and historical recombination rate variation in maize landraces and teosinte.




Kevin Boardman

Kevin is an undergraduate student collaborating with Anna O’Brien and currently working on a PUF-funded independent project to use mutation lines to study root nodulation genes and mycorhhizal symbiosis in maize.




Dan Gates

Dan is a postdoctoral scholar who studies adaptive introgression and local adaptation in maize landraces as part of the HiLo project.




Caryn Johansen

Caryn is a graduate student in the Plant Biology Graduate Group, coadvised by Dan Runcie. Caryn is interested in local adaptation in maize, and modeling the genetic architecture underlying quantitative traits.




Emily Josephs

Emily is an NSF plant genome postdoc working on adaptation to domestication in collaboration with Graham Coop and Julin Maloof.




Tanmayee Khadilkar

May is an undergraduate student working with Michelle Stitzer on variation in copy number and location of the Hopscotch retrotransposon in the maize genome.




Anne Lorant

Anne has worked as the lab manager since 2012. In addition to running the show, she works the magic to get us from seed to .bam. Anne is concurrently doing a PhD in teosinte evolutionary genetics with Maud Tenaillon.




Scotty Mahan

Scotty is a 3rd year genetics major, working with Jeff and Anne to develop SSR genotyping and assignment methods.




Niki Mahmoudzadeh Niki is a 3rd year student working with Dan Gates on highland adaptation.





Wenbin Mei

Wenbin is a postdoctoral scholar who works on the population genetics of copy number variants and inversions in both maize and teosinte. Wenbin is also part of the maize diversity project.




Anna O’Brien

Anna is a graduate student in Population Biology, coadvised by Sharon Strauss. Anna works on the coevolution of teosinte and mycorrhizae along elevational gradients in Mexico.




Ellen Osborn

Ellen is an undergraduate researcher majoring in Global Disease Biology. She is working with Michelle Stitzer on the population genetics of transposable elements in maize and teosinte.




Jeffrey Ross-Ibarra

Jeff is a Professor in the Department of Plant Sciences and a faculty member of the Center for Population Biology and the Genome Center. He started at UC Davis in 2009.




Michelle Stitzer

Michelle is a graduate student in Population Biology, working on the population genetics of transposable elements in maize and teosinte as part of the maize diversity project.




Markus Stetter

Markus is postdoctoral scholar working on domestication and adaptation in polygenic traits in maize and teosinte.




Dianne Velasco

Dianne is a graduate student in Integrated Genetics and Genomics. She studies domestication and evolution of peaches, almonds, and their relatives in the genus Prunus.




Jinliang Yang

Jinliang is a postdoctoral scholar working on the quantitative genetics of heterosis and population epigenetics in teosinte maize diversity project




Lab Alumni

Visiting Scholar: for >100 hours of scholastic visitation

Fellow of the R-I Lab: for >500 hours of scholastic fellowship

Current Collaborators

Biology of rare alleles in maize and teosinte

Evolutionary genetics of highland adaptation in maize

Genetic assimilation in teosinte

Teosinte-mycorrhiza coevolution