Our research projects take advantage of molecular genetic approaches to examine diverse questions in ecology and evolution. Primary interests include the molecular mechanisms involved in responses to abiotic stressors in the environment and the role of mitonuclear interactions in the process of allopatric speciation. Much of this work uses the intertidal copepod Tigriopus californicus as a model system, but students in the lab have worked on organisms ranging from microbes to mammals.
Recent Lab News
May 17, 2017:
Tessa Pierce! Joined by
friends, family, and a
squid cake, Tessa
her dissertation. Next
up, she's off to do great
things at UC Davis!
April 2017: Key contributors to all our Tigriopus projects, our dedicated undergrads graduated in Winter and Spring quarter. Wenpei, Kiana, and Cindy, thank you for all your hard work!
Elena Duke, who has
completed her BS
and will stay on with
the Burton Lab to work
towards an MS in
April 7, 2016 - Our paper is featured in the April 2016 issue of Molecular Ecology. The study, "Transcriptome-wide patterns of divergence during allopatric evolution, " was led by former postdoc Ricardo Pereira (coauthors include Felipe Barreto and Tessa Pierce). The study found that a set of genes that repeatedly shows rapid evolution in independent cases of allopatric divergence consistently shows a strong signal of positive selection. Tigriopus even made the cover of Molecular Ecology! Sébastien Renaut and Anne-Marie Dion-Côté provided a nice News and Views article, see: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/mec.13577/full
August 26, 2015 - Our new paper on monitoring fish eggs off the SIO Pier got some press! Ph.D. student Alice Harada led the project, along with M.S. student, Elise Lindgren, and undergrad, Maiko Hermsmeier. The Terrill lab (SIO) provided essential physical oceanography support to the team effort!
August 26, 2015 - Bummer for us! Postdoc Felipe Barreto and wife, Dr. Molly Burke, leave UCSD for Assistant Professor positions at Oregon State University. Felipe's work on the Tigriopus genome, transcriptomics and RNAi have helped lead the Burton lab into the genomics era. Congratulations Felipe and Molly and best of luck at OSU!!
August 20, 2015. Lani is now officially Dr. Lani Gleason! Lani models a snail hat in honor of her dissertation work on thermal adaptions in populations of the black turban snail. Lani also survived signing the rafters in Surfside - an SIO tradition for new Ph.D.'s. Starting as a UCSD undergraduate, Lani has been a bright light in the Burton lab for over six years!
July 13, 2015
Congratulations to Matthew Sasaki who successfully defended his MS thesis on the genetic structure of circumpolar populations of an Antarctic sea star using ddRAD-seq to score over 4000 SNPs. Next up for Matt - a Ph.D. program at the University of Connecticut.
June 2, 2015
Congratulations to Lori Luers for successfully defending her Master's thesis! Lori presented her work on fine-scale local adaptation to a packed house.
November: Por, Lani, and Reggie attended the Southern California Evolutionary Genetics & Genomics (SCalE) meeting at UCLA on November 15th. Por gave a talk about the differential gene regulation underlying population specific responses to acute heat stress in Tigriopus and Lani presented a poster on her ongoing ddRAD analysis with C. funebralis.
November: Second annual Tigriopus summit: 12 grad students and postdocs gave talks at the joint meeting of the Burton lab , the Willett lab (Univ. North Carolina) and the Edmands lab (Univ. Southern California).
October: Burton lab's first ever presentations at an American Physiological Society Meeting, "Grand Challenges in Comparative Physiology" - Ron gave a talk on gene expression during hybrid breakdown in Tigriopus, Por presented a poster on HSP gene regulation, and Alice presented a poster on population differences in mitochondrial thermal performance.
Hot off the press!
Pereira, R.J., M.C. Sasaki and R. S. Burton (2017) Adaptation to a latitudinal thermal gradient within a widespread copepod species: the contributions of genetic divergence and phenotypic plasticity. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 2017 284 20170236 (abstract)
Gleason, L.U. and R.S. Burton (2016) Regional patterns of thermal stress and constitutive gene expression in the marine snail Chlorostoma funebralis in northern and southern California. Marine Ecology Progress Series 556: 143-159 .
Stewart, J.D., C.S. Beale, D. Fernando, A.B. Sianipar, R.S. Burton, and B.X. Semmens (2016) Spatial ecology and conservation of Manta birostris in the Indo-Pacific. Biological Conservation 200:178-183
Gleason, L.U. and R.S. Burton (2016) Genomic evidence for ecological divergence against a background of population homogeneity in the marine snail Chlorostoma funebralis. Molecular Ecology (in press).
Bonin, C.A., Goebel, M.E., O'Corry-Crowe, G.M., and R.S. Burton (2016) Impacts of ecology and behavior on Antarctic fur seal remating and relatedness. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol. 476: 72-77.
Pereira, R.J., F.S. Barreto, N.T. Pierce M. Carneiro and R.S. Burton (2016) Transcriptome-wide patterns of divergence during allopatric evolution. Molecular Ecology 25:1478-1493.
Brandão, M.C., A.S. Freire, and R.S. Burton (2016) Estimating diversity of crabs (Decapoda: Brachyura) in a no-take marine protected area of the SW Atlantic coast through DNA barcoding of larvae. Systematics and Biodiversity 14:288-302.
Harada, A.E., E.A. Lindgren, M.C. Hermsmeier, P.A. Rogowski, E. Terrill, and R.S. Burton (2015) Monitoring spawning activity in a southern California marine protected area using molecular identification of fish eggs. PLoS One 10: (8): e0134647 (open access)
Barker, A.M., A.P. Nosal, E. A. Lewallen, and R.S. Burton (2015) The genetic structure of leopard shark (Triakis semifasciata) populations along the Pacific coast of North America. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol. 472: 151-157.
Gleason, L.U. and R.S. Burton (2015) RNA-seq reveals regional differences in transcriptome response to heat stress in the marine snail Chlorostoma funebralis. Molecular Ecology 24: 610-627. DOI:10.1111/mec. 13047 (abstract)
Barreto, F.S., S. D. Schoville and R. S. Burton (2015) Reverse genetics in the tide pool: knock-down of target gene expression via RNA interference in the copepod Tigriopus californicus. Molecular Ecology Resources 15: 868-879 DOI:10.1111/1755-0998. 12359 (abstract)