CV | Dr. Ashley's LabPublications | Biological Sciences | 2012 UIC Woman of the Year

Dr. Ashley's lab

Local and Landscape Genetic Processes in Oaks

Several major findings have emerged from our studies of remnant stands of bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa) in northeastern Illinois. We have found that wind-dispersed oak pollen often travels long distances, and even acorns from isolated stands are pollinated by trees outstand the stand. High levels of gene flow keep populations reproductively connected across the landscape. Long-distance pollination has also recently been confirmed in California valley oak, Quercus lobata, in work done in collaboration with Walt Koenig. We have also been investigating patterns of hybridization among various white oak species, both in the Midwest and in California. Finally, we are studying conservation genetics questions in threatened species of oaks, including island oak, Quercus tomentella, found only on the California Channel Islands, and Quercus hinckleyi, found only in a few populations in West Texas.

Sibling Reconstruction

I am collaborating with a team of UIC computer scientists to tackle the problem of reconstructing sibling groups in wild populations using DNA microsatellite data. We have developed efficient computational methods for identifying full siblings and half siblings, without parental data, and assuming only Mendelian inheritance of genetic markers. This work is supported by an NSF grant. We have made these methods available to all researchers via an online software suite called KINALYZER. Please see our Wiki Page for more information.

Additional Projects

  • Conservation of Anacapa Island Deer Mouse (Fusun Ozer)
  • Conservation and Management of Channel Island Loggerhead Shrike (Isabel Caballero)
  • Conservation Genetics of Hinckley's Oak (Janet Backs)
  • Invasion Dynamics of Oriental Bittersweet, Celatrus orbiculatus (David Zaya)
  • Conservation genetics of Asclepias langinosa, an endangered milkweed (Eun Sun Kim)

Current Lab Members

 Janet Backs  Doctoral Student
 João Marcos Cupurucho  Doctoral Student
 Percy Jinga
 Doctoral Student
 Eun Sun Kim
 Doctoral Student
 Emi Kuroiwa
 Masters Student
 Jason Palagi  Doctoral Student
 John Wilk  Doctoral Student

Ashley Lab Alumni

Dr. Saji Abraham
University of Michigan
Isabel Caballero Texas A & M University
Dr. Kathleen Craft Concordia University Chicago
Dr. Beverly Dow McHenry County College
Dr. Kevin Feldheim Pritzker Laboratory, Field Museum of Natural History
Dr. Jennifer Ison University of Toronto
Dr. Ken Jones University of Georgia
Dr. Andrea Tietmeyer Kramer Chicago Botanic Garden
Dr. Roselis Mazurek
Dr. Jane E. Norman
James Norton Northwestern University
Dr. Fusun Ozer Middle East Technical University, Cyprus Campus
Dr. Helena Puche Howe Lab, UIC
Dr. Bill Strausberger Field Museum
Dr. Oliver Pergams University of Illinois at Chicago
Dr. Jose (Pepé) Tello Long Island University
Ramlah Zainudin UNIMAS, Malaysia
Dr. David Zaya Illinois Natural History Survey