Welcome to the Baker Lab!

Research in Professor Baker's laboratory is focused on genetic population structure and its relationship to speciation in vertebrates. PCR amplification of DNA regions in mitochondrial and nuclear DNA and direct sequencing provide the raw data to quantify mutation rates, gene flow, effective population sizes, founder effects, genetic drift, and selection pressures operating on different DNA sequences. These parameters are then used to infer the evolutionary histories of lineages isolated on islands or in connected demes on continents, and ultimately to test theories of speciation. Sequence data are also used to study rates and mechanisms of molecular evolution among vertebrate taxa, and to construct phylogenies for molecular systematic studies of birds, mammals and fishes. Patterns and rates of morphological, behavioural, and genetic divergence are used to compare biological and cultural evolution.

Ruff or chaffinch

The Baker Lab

University of Toronto | Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology | Allan's ROM website

Photos © 2008 Mark Peck Design © 2008 Rosemary Gibson