Katrina Dlugosch is an evolutionary ecologist who studies the genetic and evolutionary consequences of colonization events. Colonization events are fundamental parts of the movement and persistence of organisms, and play a special role in the success of introduced (a.k.a. non-native / exotic) species. Her work draws largely (though not exclusively) on the natural experiments provided by human-mediated species introductions and seeks to understand how the genetic variation in these populations translates into phenotypic diversity, adaptation, and changes in ecology. To do this she employs a variety of genetic approaches (quantitative, molecular, and genomic/bioinformatic) as well as field experiments. Current research in her lab includes studies of 1) the genetic basis of evolution in invasive plants (in traits governing changes in life history, trade-offs between growth and defense, and losses of inbreeding depression), 2) the contribution of multiple introductions and genomic admixture to population establishment and expansion, and 3) the role of local adaptation in generating population stability during range expansion and in response to climate change.
Stewart CN Jr, PJ Tranel, DP Horvath, JV Anderson, LH Rieseberg, JH Westwood, CA Mallory-Smith, ML Zapiola & KM Dlugosch (2009). Evolution of weediness and invasiveness: charting the course for weed genomics. Weed Science 57: 451-462.
Barker MS*, KM Dlugosch*, ACC Reddy, SN Amyotte & LH Rieseberg (2009) SCARF: maximizing next-generation EST assemblies for evolutionary and population genomic analyses.Bioinformatics 25: 535-536. *co-first authors
Dlugosch KM & IM Parker (2008) Invading populations of an ornamental shrub show rapid life history evolution despite genetic bottlenecks. Ecology Letters 11(7): 701-709.
Dlugosch KM & IM Parker (2008) Founding events in species invasions: genetic variation, adaptive evolution, and the role of multiple introductions. Molecular Ecology 17 (1): 431-449.
Dlugosch KM & IM Parker (2007). Molecular and life history trait variation across the native range of the invasive species Hypericum canariense: evidence for ancient patterns of colonization via pre-adaptation? Molecular Ecology 16 (20): 4269-4283.