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Kyle McElroy

Kyle McElroy

  • Postdoc Research Associate
I am an evolutionary biologist interested in exploring connections between organismal and genomic changes, including life history and novel traits. In my PhD I used transcriptomic and genomic data to investigate the causes and consequences of asexuality in freshwater snail, Potamopyrgus antipodarum, known for repeated transitions from sexual to asexual reproduction. The question of whether similar genomic processes underly and/or result from evolutionary transitions brought me to the Serb Lab at Iowa State to study the evolution of eyes in bivalves.

Here, I am a member of a group studying the genomic basis of eye derivation in Pteriomorphian bivalves, which includes scallops, mussels, and oysters. Eyes have evolved 5 times in this clade, and we are sequencing genomes from several eyed lineages to test whether similar or different genetic changes underly these novel eye types. I am also interested in studying the evolution and function of opsins in mollsuks. Opsins are the protein part of the photopigments that absorb light for vision and many other biological processes. I am exploring the diversity of molluscan opsins and relationship between protein evolution and functional changes in scallop opsins.

Contact Info

Iowa State University
Ames IA
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