Faculty Profile - University of Houston
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Faculty Profile

Richard MeiselRichard Meisel

Associate Professor
Department of Biology and Biochemistry

Office: Science & Research 2, 421C
Contact: rpmeisel@uh.edu - (713) 743-3607

Education: Ph.D., The Pennsylvania State University

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Dr. Richard Meisel uses genetic and genomic approaches to study population biology, evolution, and development. He is interested in how environmental variation and sex differences influence genetic and phenotypic diversity within populations and between species. This work involves a variety of model and non-model organisms. Current research is organized around two areas:

  1. The evolution of sex chromosomes and sex determination. We are using flies as model organisms to study sex chromosome evolution. Most of this work is examining the polygenic sex determination system in the house fly. We aim to determine if and how natural selection maintains this polymorphism through the use of population genetics, functional genomics, and organismal experimentation. We are also applying comparative, functional, and population genomics approaches to study how sex chromosomes evolve in various fly taxa, including Drosophila and calyptrate flies.
  2. Animal-microbe interactions. We are studying how the innate immune system responds to bacterial infection, and how that innate immune response evolves. For this work, we combine mathematic modeling, genomic data analysis, and laboratory experiments to understand how and why animals deploy constitutive versus induced immune responses. We perform this work using genetic manipulations in Drosophila along with experiments in non-model fly species, such as house fly and blow fly.