Dr. Daniel L. Jeffries

Through my undergraduate and postgraduate training I have worked on a spectrum of topics, from invasion biology and conservation to population genomics and genome evolution. I have also worked with a variety of study systems including insects, fish and now frogs. From these projects a central passion has emerged, that is, leveraging large scale molecular data to address diverse and important evolutionary questions.

My current research focuses on the evolution of sex chromosomes. In many animal lineages, e.g. mammals and birds, sex chromosomes are relatively old and have, over time, become heteromorphic due to suppressed recombination between them. In frogs, however, this is not true. Many frog species possess very homomorphic sex chromosomes, suggesting that either recombination is not completely suppressed, or that they have not long been used for sex determination. Support for the latter hypothesis comes from the fact that different frog species use different chromosome pairs for sex determination, suggesting that they frequently swap the chromosome pair used. These so called “turnover” events are the focus of my current project, in which I will use advanced genomic approaches to characterise the patterns and rates of sex chromosome turnovers in the frog family, Ranidae in order to elucidate the processes that drive them.

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