About Santiago Ramirez's Work
Evolutionary biologists have long recognized the central role that species interactions play in the origin and maintenance of biological diversity. However, the ecological conditions and the genetic mechanisms whereby interacting lineages coevolve and adapt to one other remain poorly understood. I propose to investigate the genetic bases of coadaptation in a highly specialized plant-pollinator mutualism. My research integrates approaches from multiple disciplines including evolutionary biology, genomics, molecular biology, chemistry and physiology to investigate how genetic toolkits are coopted to generate the intricate associations we observe between species in nature. The Packard Fellowship is an ideal opportunity to advance my research, as conventional federal funding programs typically do not support proposals that span across multiple disciplines.