Mohamed A. Noor, Earl D. McLean Professor  

Mohamed A. Noor

Research in my laboratory strives to understand what genetic changes contribute to the formation of new species, and how the process of genetic recombination affects both species formation and molecular evolution. I've been fascinated at how often genetic recombination plays a major role in any evolutionary genetic question I seek to pursue, so understanding its causes and effects has become a thread uniting the dissertations of most people in the laboratory. Our approaches combine classical genetic, molecular genetic, and genomic/ bioinformatic analyses, along with occasional forays into areas like animal behavior (in relation to speciation). I am also very interested in helping develop educational activities (K-12 or college) in genetics and evolution. See my lab webpage for more detailed information:

Ph.D., University of Chicago, 1996
B.S., College of William and Mary, 1992

Office Location: 130
Office Phone: (919) 613-8156
Email Address:
Web Page:
Additional Web Page:


Research Categories: Speciation and evolutionary genetics, recombination

Research Description: One of the greatest unsolved questions in biology is how continuous processes of evolutionary change produce the discontinuous groups known as species. For a many years, my team studied hybrid sterility and behavioral mate preferences using classical, QTL-based, or molecular genetic approaches on Drosophila species as model organisms. More recently, the availability of multiple whole-genome sequences (some public but especially those we have obtained ourselves) has dramatically enhanced the scope of progress we make. A major question we've sought to address has been determining the genetic features and evolutionary processes that allow hybridizing species to persist, with particular interest in recombination and chromosomal inversions. In addition to questions in speciation, we are broadly interested in molecular evolution within species, again with a particular focus on the effects of recombination. See my lab web page for more information.

Recent Publications   (More Publications)   (search)

  1. Ritz, KR; Noor, MAF; Singh, ND, Variation in Recombination Rate: Adaptive or Not?, Trends in Genetics (March, 2017) [doi]  [abs].
  2. Korunes, KL; Noor, MAF, Gene conversion and linkage: effects on genome evolution and speciation., Molecular Ecology, vol. 26 no. 1 (January, 2017), pp. 351-364 [doi]  [abs].
  3. Ritz, KR; Noor, MAF, Mistaken Identity: Another Bias in the Use of Relative Genetic Divergence Measures for Detecting Interspecies Introgression., PloS one, vol. 11 no. 10 (January, 2016), pp. e0165032 [doi]  [abs].
  4. Smukowski Heil, CS; Ellison, C; Dubin, M; Noor, MAF, Recombining without Hotspots: A Comprehensive Evolutionary Portrait of Recombination in Two Closely Related Species of Drosophila., Genome Biology and Evolution, vol. 7 no. 10 (October, 2015), pp. 2829-2842 [doi]  [abs].
  5. Gredler, JN; Hish, AJ; Noor, MA, Temporal Stability of Molecular Diversity Measures in Natural Populations of Drosophila pseudoobscura and Drosophila persimilis., Journal of Heredity, vol. 106 no. 4 (July, 2015), pp. 407-411, Oxford University Press (OUP): Policy B - Oxford Open Option B [doi]  [abs].