Welcome to the Lowry Lab!

The research of the Lowry lab is centered on identifying the genetic and genomic mechanisms of ecological adaptations, understanding how those adaptations contribute to the formation of new species, and developing approaches to translate our knowledge of adaptations into the improvement of crop species. To understand the physiological, developmental, and genetic mechanisms of adaptive divergence between plant populations, the Lowry lab is focused on research in three flagship systems for evolutionary genomics: Monkeyflowers (Mimulus), Common Bean (Phaseolus), and Panicum grasses. Large communities of collaborative scientists have established extensive genomic and molecular biology resources for these systems.

Lab News

June 2019: The Lowry Lab has been awarded a National Science Foundation grant to study the genetic and physiological mechanisms underlying locally adaptive trade-offs between growth, reproduction, and herbivore resistance in the yellow monkeyflower, Mimulus guttatus. The research will be conducted in collaboration with Liza Holeski’s lab at Northern Arizona University. The first paper on this research was published in the journal Evolution:

Lowry DB, Popovic D, Brennan DJ, Holeski LM. 2019. Mechanisms of a locally adaptive shift in allocation among growth, reproduction, and herbivore resistance in Mimulus guttatus. Evolution. 73: 1168-1181.

May 2019: Dr. Kyle Christie has been awarded an NSF postdoc fellowship to join the Lowry Lab and study the impacts of climate change on local adaptation through resurrection experiments conducted from herbarium collections of Plantago patagonica.

March 2019: Postdoc Acer VanWallendael visited Capital Hill to talk with US Senator Gary Peter (MI) about funding for science as part of an American Institute of Biological Sciences program, with support from the Society for the Study of Evolution (SSE).


February 2019: The lab published a paper in Annual Reviews of Plant Biology on using our knowledge of molecular pathways to predict trade-offs underlying local adaptation.

VanWallendael A, Soltani A, Emery NC, Peixoto MM, Olsen J, Lowry DB. 2019. A molecular view of plant local adaptation: Incorporating stress-response networks. Annual Reviews of Plant Biology. In press

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