Our aim is to characterize potential rapid evolutionary changes in the physical and life history traits of Z. indianus flies and to describe the genetic basis for such differences. Though these flies are often considered to be a nuisance or pest when swarming the fruit bowl in your kitchen, their changes over time can tell us a lot about rapid evolution and adaptation to different environments. Our work combines genetics, physiology, and life history to understand how invasive species succeed in new environment. Our research will help further understanding about why and how some invasive species are able to thrive as they colonize new areas in the U.S.
- population genetic analysis of North American Z. indianus populations
- phenotypic characterization of North American Z. indianus populations
- using CRISPR-Cas9 to study genes that may be involved in the development of the species' notable striped pattern.