Jennifer J. Wernegreen, Associate Professor of Environmental and Evolutionary Genomics in the Division  

Jennifer J. Wernegreen

Research in our lab centers on environmental and evolutionary genomics, primarily in bacteria. Broadly, our group explores mechanisms shaping genetic and functional variation in microbes that play important roles in the natural environment. Much of our work integrates evolutionary, population genetic, computational, and molecular approaches to clarify how bacterial genomes change over time. Among these studies, we are exploring how ecological interactions – such as symbiosis - influence genome content and architecture of the species involved. Conversely, we also explore how genomic alterations can impact microbial functions and interactions. As models to link genomics and environmental biology, we largely focus on mutualistic microbes, including bacteria that supply essential nutrients to invertebrate hosts.

Ph.D., Yale University, 1998
BA, Biology, Earlham College, 1992

Office Location: 101 Science Drive, Box 3382, 2175 CIEMAS, Durham, NC 27708
Office Phone: (919) 681-0331
Email Address:
Web Page:

environmental genomics

Recent Publications   (More Publications)   (search)

  1. Wernegreen, JJ, In it for the long haul: evolutionary consequences of persistent endosymbiosis., Current Opinion in Genetics & Development, vol. 47 (December, 2017), pp. 83-90 [doi]  [abs].
  2. Wernegreen, JJ, Ancient bacterial endosymbionts of insects: Genomes as sources of insight and springboards for inquiry., Experimental Cell Research, vol. 358 no. 2 (September, 2017), pp. 427-432 [doi]  [abs].
  3. Brown, BP; Wernegreen, JJ, Deep divergence and rapid evolutionary rates in gut-associated Acetobacteraceae of ants., Bmc Microbiol, vol. 16 no. 1 (July, 2016), pp. 140 [doi]  [abs].
  4. Wernegreen, JJ, Endosymbiont evolution: predictions from theory and surprises from genomes., Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, vol. 1360 no. 1 (December, 2015), pp. 16-35 [doi]  [abs].
  5. Yung, C-M; Vereen, MK; Herbert, A; Davis, KM; Yang, J; Kantorowska, A; Ward, CS; Wernegreen, JJ; Johnson, ZI; Hunt, DE, Thermally adaptive tradeoffs in closely related marine bacterial strains., Environ Microbiol, vol. 17 no. 7 (July, 2015), pp. 2421-2429 [doi]  [abs].

Curriculum Vitae