Ph.D., Harvard University
7026 Haworth Hall
Phone: (785) 864-3915 (office)
My research is focused on understanding how both genetic and epigenetic systems evolve. Meiosis and sexual reproduction are prevalent across the tree of life, but they can be exploited by genetic parasites in ways that harm the host. I am particularly interested in understanding how this genetic conflict shapes the evolution of these systems. Some of the questions I am looking to answer: How and why do males and females differ in their efforts to ameliorate genetic conflict? What are the mechanisms underlying changes in the rate of recombination? Are these changes driven by natural selection or drift? How has conflict shaped the machinery of meiosis? To answer these questions, I work with different species within the Drosophila genus, including Drosophila melanogaster and Drosophila virilis. The lab uses a wide variety of approaches including cytogenetics, bioinformatics, molecular genetics and population genetics. Overall, I hope to integrate the experimental approach within a broader theoretical framework.
Blumenstiel, J.P. 2011. In press. Evolutionary dynamics of transposable elements in a small RNA world. Trends in Genetics. 27(1):23-31.
Blumenstiel, J.P., Noll, A.C., Griffiths, J.A., Perera, A.G., Walton, K.N., Gilliland, W.D., Hawley, R.S., and Staehling-Hampton, K. 2009 Identification of EMS-induced mutations in Drosophila melanogaster by whole genome sequencing. Genetics. Published online Mar. 30, 2009.
Blumenstiel, J.P., Fu, R, Theurkauf, W.and Hawley, R.S. 2008. Components of the RNAi machinery that mediate the association of dispersed sequences are dispensable for meiotic and early somatic chromosome pairing. Genetics. 180. 1355–1365.
Blumenstiel, J.P. A coalescent based test of neutrality for transposable element insertions. In preparation.
Blumenstiel, J.P. 2007. Sperm competition can drive a male-biased mutation rate. The Journal of Theoretical Biology. 249(3), 624–32.
Jeffress, J.K., Page, S.L., Royer, S.K., Blumenstiel, J.P., Belden, E.D., Anderson, L.K., and Hawley, R.S. 2007. The formation of the central element of the synaptonemal complex may occur by multiple mechanisms: The roles of N- and C- terminal domains of the Drosophila C(3)G protein in mediating synapsis and recombination. Genetics. 177(4), 2445–56
Blumenstiel, J.P. and Hartl, D.L. 2005. Evidence for maternally transmitted siRNA in the repression of transposition in Drosophila virilis. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 102, 15965–13283.
Neafsey, D.E., Blumenstiel, J.P., and Hartl, D.L. 2004. Different regulatory mechanisms underlie similar transposable element profiles in pufferfish and fruitflies. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 21(12), 2310–2318.
Blumenstiel, J.P., Hartl, D. L. and Lozovsky, E.R. 2002. Patterns of insertion and deletion in contrasting chromatin domains. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 19(12), 2211–2225.
Jordan, B., Charest, A., Dowd, J.F., Blumenstiel, J.P., Yeh, R., Osman, A., Housman, D.E. and Landers, J.E. 2001. Complexity reduction for genome-wide SNP analysis. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 99, 2942–2947.
Kawasaki, H., Springett, G.M., Toki, S., Canales, J.J., Harlan, P., Blumenstiel, J.P., Chen, E.C., Bany, I.A., Mockizuki, N., Asbacher, A., Matsuda, M., Housman, D.E., and Graybiel, A.M. 1998. A rap guanine nucleotide exchange factor enriched highly in the basal ganglia. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 95, 13278–13283.