The research projects of the Wayne lab cover a wide range of species and utilize a multitude of molecular approaches. From exploring contemporary population dynamics to evolutionary relationships, current projects utilize both traditional and next-generation technologies to address ecological and evolutionary questions at a variety of spatial and temporal scales. Many of the projects explore genomes for signatures of selection (natural or artificial), local adaptation, patterns of partitioning genetic variation across species and populations, or use a metagenomic approach to understand complex biological systems. We also explore the potential of transcriptomics to gather gene expression data from wild populations.
After 4 years of collaborative work, Freeman et al. brings new lights on the dog domestication using genome sequencing. Indeed, in their recent PLoS Genetics paper, the authors suggested that "dog and wolf lineages are reciprocally monophyletic, suggesting that none of the modern wolf populations are related to the wolves that were first domesticated". This work was highligthed in Larson & Bradley's perspective article, published in the same journal issue.
Steven Winter, a National Geographic photographer famous for his photos of big cats taken around the world, has been working for the past year to get photos of mountain lions (e.g. P22) with the Hollywood sign in the background. And after a lot of work, he was successful! This work is presented in the December 2013 issue of National Geographic!
Read more about the mountain lions and P22 on www.urbancarnivores.com.
Professor Robert Wayne's NSF-funded project has received high press coverage for the Science paper "Complete Mitochondrial Genomes of Ancient Canids Suggest a European Origin of Domestic Dogs" (Thalmann et al. 2013). We invite you to read also the first major 'transcriptomics' paper of the Wayne Lab, published by Roy et al. in Mammal Genome.