Luana S. Maroja

Luana Maroja

Professor of Biology

Hopper Science Center Rm 215
At Williams since 2010


B.S. Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (1999)
M.S. Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (2001)
Ph.D. Cornell University (2008)

Areas of Expertise

Evolutionary Genetics, speciation, landscape genetics

Scholarship/Creative Work

(*denotes undergraduate author)

Awards, Fellowships & Grants

NSF-1650887. The importance of sex-chromosomes in
speciation: are genes that do not introgress concentrated on the X
chromosome? PIs: Maroja, LS. and Bogdanowicz S.

NSF-1655935. Phenotypic and genomic patterns of divergence across a young Drosophila species complex. PIs: Yukilevich, R. and Maroja, L.S.

Professional Affiliations

American Association of University Women

Society for the Study of Evolution

American Society of Naturalists

Research Interests

The primary research interest of the Maroja Lab is the evolution of barriers to gene exchange; that is, how does reproductive isolation evolve and how do lineages become eventually distinct? In particular, we are interested in understanding (1) the molecular and genetic basis of barriers to gene exchange in recently diverged species, and (2) the consequences of hybridization to recently diverged species and populations. The existence of recently diverged species that are still exchanging genes challenges our ability to understand the maintenance of species barriers. However, it also offers a unique opportunity to investigate gene flow and characterize genes important for species identity. It is this opportunity that forms the basis of our research interests. Understanding reproductive barriers is essential to understanding the maintenance of species boundaries in sexually reproducing organisms and thus why organisms fall into discrete clusters (i.e., species).