Hopi Hoekstra

Board Member: 2019 - Present

Current Institution
Harvard University and Harvard School of Public Health
Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology


Research Interests

The Hoekstra lab explores questions related to evolution and development. Their many research projects include studies of the genetics of populations, the role of sexual selection in speciation, and the relation between genetics and behavior. For example, in one project, her lab is combining ecological and genomic methods to characterize some of the genetic and environmental factors associated with social behavior in halictid bees. Another project examines the evolution of parentally-biased gene expression in mice. Another examines the genetics underlying colors that have evolved in lizards. Other projects explore primary behaviors such as burrowing behavior, climbing behavior, species recognition, and mating choices, to understand what genetics underlies each of these and how changes in these behaviors are mediated at the genetic level.   
Dr. Hoekstra’s team is using next generation sequencing and accompanying computational tools to identify genetic variation at unprecedented numbers of loci in very large population samples. By determining the fitness consequences of genome-wide variation in a relevant ecological context, this work will improve understanding of the ultimate and proximate mechanisms allowing adaptation.