Mohamed A. Noor, Professor  

Mohamed A. Noor

Research in my laboratory strives to understand what genetic changes contribute to the formation of new species, what maintains fitness-related variation in natural populations, and how the process of genetic recombination affects both species formation and molecular evolution. 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., The University of Chicago, 1996
B.S., College of William and Mary, 1992

Office Location: 130 Science Drive, Room 137, Duke Box 90338, Durham, NC 27708
Office Phone: +1 919 613 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. Marion, SB; Noor, MAF, Interrogating the Roles of Mutation-Selection Balance, Heterozygote Advantage, and Linked Selection in Maintaining Recessive Lethal Variation in Natural Populations., Annual review of animal biosciences, vol. 11 (February, 2023), pp. 77-91 [doi]  [abs].
  2. Noor, MAF, Thinking outside Earth’s box—how might heredity and evolution differ on other worlds?, Evolution: Education and Outreach, vol. 15 no. 1 (December, 2022), Springer Science and Business Media LLC [doi]  [abs].
  3. Samuk, K; Noor, MAF, Gene flow biases population genetic inference of recombination rate., G3 (Bethesda, Md.), vol. 12 no. 11 (November, 2022), pp. jkac236 [doi]  [abs].
  4. Korunes, KL; Myers, RB; Hardy, R; Noor, MAF, PseudoBase: a genomic visualization and exploration resource for the Drosophila pseudoobscura subgroup., Fly, vol. 15 no. 1 (December, 2021), pp. 38-44 [doi]  [abs].
  5. Pardy, JA; Lahib, S; Noor, MAF; Moehring, AJ, Intraspecific Genetic Variation for Behavioral Isolation Loci in Drosophila., Genes, vol. 12 no. 11 (October, 2021), pp. 1703 [doi]  [abs].