Evolutionary ecologist and geneticist Moises (Moi) Exposito-Alonso is a Staff Associate at the Carnegie Departments of Plant Biology and Global Ecology, and Assistant Professor (by courtesy) of Biology at Stanford University. Moi received a BSc. in biology from the University of Seville, Spain, working as an ecologist in the Doñana Biological Station (CSIC). After he earned his Ph.D. in plant genomics supervised by Detlef Weigel at the Max Planck Institute, Germany, he conducted a short postdoc in statistical evolutionary genetics at the University of California Berkeley. His group at Carnegie combines experimental ecology, computational genomics, and evolution-inspired gene editing to understand whether and how plants will evolve to keep pace with climate change.
The ongoing climate change has put a spotlight on rapid evolutionary processes that could aid species adapt to new environments. But what is the architecture of fitness across environments? Is this predictable? Can we understand genetic constraints across multiple adaptive traits? How is genetic variation loss during extinction? To address these questions, we combine statistical genomics with experimental ecology and genetic engineering approaches using the plant species Arabidopsis thaliana as our experimental climate change genetics model and scaling up insights with publicly available genomes of diverse plant species.