Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

About the PNAS Member Editor
Name Edwards, Scott V.
Location Harvard University
Primary Field Evolutionary Biology
Secondary Field Animal, Nutritional and Applied Microbial Sciences
 Election Citation
Edwards creatively integrates theory with field, museum and laboratory research in genomics. Population genetics forms his quantitative framework for studying geographic variation, genome organization, and genomic evolution, which inform his research on molecular evolution, speciation, and systematics. His research on phylogenomics continues to have deep impact in evolutionary biology.
 Research Interests
Scott Edwards' research focuses on diverse aspects of the evolutionary biology of birds, including evolutionary history and biogeography, disease ecology, population genetics and comparative genomics. To study avian phylogeography he conducted extensive fieldwork in Australia and produced some of the first continent-wide phylogeographic analyses based on DNA sequencing. He did a postdoctoral fellowship in immunogenetics at the University of Florida to study the evolution of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) of birds, an important multigene family encoding receptors that mediate pathogen recognition and surveillance, as well as mate choice. He helped develop the House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus) as an emerging model system for studying the evolutionary consequences of pathogens on animal hosts, focusing on genome-wide effects on sequence change and gene expression of the bacterial pathogen Mycoplasma gallisepticum. His work on the MHC led him to study the large-scale structure and dinosaurian origins of the avian genome. In the last 10 years Dr. Edwards has helped develop novel methods for estimating phylogenetic trees from multilocus DNA sequence data using coalescent theory. His recent work uses comparative genomics in diverse contexts to study macroevolutionary patterns in birds, including the origin of feathers and the evolution of flightlessness.

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