Kay Hodgins

Kay Hodgins

Research Overview

Kay has a diversity of research interests that generally focus on plant evolution in human altered environments. She is particularly interested in weedy and invasive plants and uses these species to investigate the genetic basis of rapid evolutionary change. Her research also includes adaptation to climate change, crop evolution as well as the evolution of plant sexual systems.

Climates encountered by wide-ranging species can vary enormously, from frigid arctic temperatures to seasonally hot and dry Mediterranean climates to suffocating tropical humidity. Populations of a species can evolve through natural selection to optimize their traits in response to these different environments in a process called local adaptation. Using genomic and experimental studies of invasive plants and foundation species, our lab seeks to identify the genes underlying such adaptive differences and to understand the constraints and biases that may impact the genetic basis of adaptation. From slowing the evolution of herbicide resistance to speeding up adaptation to climate change, our ability to manage the process of local adaptation will be enhanced by a better understanding of how often the same adaptive solutions arise and the genetic mechanisms that underlie them.

Research Group

Research Assistant

  • Sarah Bou-Assi

PhD Students

  • Lotte van Boheemen