Current members

Principal Investigator

DJB2David Begun
Email: djbegun at ucdavis dot edu
Faculty webpage link
Grad Group Affiliations:
Population Biology
Integrated Genetics and Genomics
My research interests focus primarily on population genetics and molecular evolution in the Drosophila model. We use genomic approaches to investigate the forces affecting the distribution of genomic variation and to generate hypotheses on the biological traits influenced by directional selection.

Postdoc Researcher

NSNicolas Svetec
Email: nhsvetec at ucdavis dot edu
Webpage link
Nico is  an evolutionary geneticist with a particular interest in adaptation. His research activities focus on the physiological and behavioral traits that allow organisms to adapt to new environments.


Li Zhao
Email: lizzhao at ucdavis dot edu
Twitter: @lizzyzhao Google Scholar
Li is investigating the genetic mechanisms of the origin and spread of de novo genes. She is also interested in the role of spatially varying selection in phenotypic evolution. Li will join Rockefeller University as an Assistant Professor soon.



Julie Cridland
Email: jmcridland at ucdavis dot edu
Julie is primarily working on bee genomics in the Ramírez lab at University of California Davis. However, she still loves flies. 




Didem Sarikaya
Email: dpsarikaya at ucdavis dot edu
Website link
Didem is an evolutionary developmental biologist who spends a lot of time wondering about the genes/processes that determine sizes of animals and organs. She is studying population-level variants of growth-regulating genes, and how they impact growth and adult health.

Graduate Students

CC2Colin Contino
Email: cecontino at ucdavis dot edu
Colin is interested in studying how spatially varying selection shapes genome and expression variation in Drosophila populations.


Junior Specialist

HSHayley Sheehy
Email:hksheehy at ucdavis dot edu
Hayley is our new lab manager. She participates in pretty much every research direction in the lab. She also supervises all fly stock maintenance (and we sure have lots of stocks!).



Undergraduate Students

MBMelissa Bailey
Email: mlbailey at ucdavis dot edu
Melissa is interested in improving her research and analytical skills, as well as gaining experience with Drosophila spatial variation.




Sophia Davis
Email: sldavis at ucdavis dot edu
Sophia is interested in gaining research experience and is working with Professor Begun, the postdocs, and graduate students on several experiments.



Past members

Corbin Jones (Postdoc), is a Professor at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Todd Schlenke (Graduate Student), is an Associate Professor at University of Arizona.
Andy Kern (Graduate Student),is now an Assistant Professor at Rutgers University.
Brad Wagstaff (Graduate Student) teaches chemistry.
Mara Lawniczak (Graduate Student), is now a principal investigator in Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute.
Alisha Holloway (Postdoc), is now a director of the Gladstone Bioinformatics Core in Gladstone Institute.
Tom Turner (Graduate Student), is an Associate Professor at University of California Santa Barbara.
Mia Levine (Graduate Student), is an Assistant Professor at University of Pennsylvania.
Julie Cridland (Postdoc),  is now a postdoc researcher in Ramírez lab at University of California Davis.
Christopher Hamm (Postdoc),  is now a postdoc researcher in Walters lab at University of Kansas Lawrence.
Perot Saelao (Junior Specialist), is an IGG graduate student in Zhou lab at University of California Davis.
Alisa Sedghifar (Graduate Student), is a postdoc fellow in Peter Andolfatto lab at Princeton University.