Omidyar Postdoctoral Fellow (Starting January 2019)
Starting January 2019
All of biological life is the result of simple biochemical reactions and the diversity of life that we see today has been ~3.5 billion years in the making. Although, over most of this time the biosphere was dominated by prokaryotic and unicellular species. A dramatic shift in the complexity of life occurred ~0.55 billion years ago, and all the major groups of multicellular animals begin to appear in the fossil record. The goal of Ashley's research is to uncover how the physio-chemical laws that govern all biochemical reactions led to the emergence and expansion of complex life. Using a combination of computational and theoretical approaches Ashley's research is focused on the functional diversification of biological systems across multiple layers of organization. Thus far her research has centered on the evolution of proteins, duplicated genes, and metabolic pathways. In her future work, she plans to continue to study these molecular systems while also extending her work to examine how changing environments and ecological interactions further shape functional diversification.
Prior to joining SFI, Ashley was a postdoctoral researcher at The University of Texas at Austin in the Department of Integrative Biology. She holds a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from The University of Wyoming, and B.S. degrees in Computer Science and Mathematics from New Mexico State University.