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Megan A. Barela Hudgell

Ph.D. (2022) Biological Sciences

Bringing Together Immunology, Ecology, and Evolution

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Gene Diversification and Large Gene Families

Genes diversification happens through a variety mechanisms, which in turn lead to the generation of large, clustered gene families.  Genes within the Immune system tend to be comprised of gene families.  I am interested in identifying and understanding the processes that generate these gene families.

Research Interests

Comparative Immunology

Comparative immunology works to investigate the diverse and complex immune systems found throughout the tree of life.  I hope to bring to light novel and understudied immune systems with the intention of furthering our understanding of its evolution.

Ecology and Evolution

The immune system is often considered key for the survival of organisms within an environment, not just as individuals, but as a population. I am interested in studying the intersection of ecology, evolution, and immunology to understand how the evolution of the immune system was potentially driven by and maintained by the ecology in which the organism is found