University of Wisconsin–Madison
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences | School of Medicine and Public Health

John Pool

Associate Professor


2434 Genetics/Biotechnology

Ph.D, Cornell University (2006), Postdoctoral Research (1) University of California, Berkeley and University of Copenhagen (2006-2009) (2) University of California, Davis (2009-2011)
Lab Website
Research Interests
Population genomics and the genetic basis of adaptive evolution
Research Fields
Computational, Systems & Synthetic Biology, Evolutionary & Population Genetics, Gene Expression, Genomics & Proteomics, Drosophila

Research Description:
Genetic variation offers a window into a population’s history of natural selection, population size change, and migration events. Our ability to reveal these processes is being revolutionized by newly available data from large numbers of fully sequenced genomes. We are using large population genomic data sets from Drosophila melanogaster and other organisms to address fundamental evolutionary questions, including the relative importance of natural selection versus demographic history in shaping within-population genetic variation and between-population genetic differentiation. This work often involves the development of new statistical analysis methods to examine population genomic data innovel ways.

A second focus of our research is the genetic basis of adaptive evolution, including the number and types of mutations that underlie adaptive changes. Our sequenced D. melanogaster genomes include populations that are adapted to a wide range of environments, including contrasting altitudes. We are investigating the genetic basis of melanic pigmentation in D. melanogaster (which appears to have independently evolved multiple times in various African mountain ranges), along with a range of additional altitude-related traits. By linking phenotypic and population genomic data, we can begin to reveal how Darwinian selection operates at the genetic level.

Representative Publications:
Search PubMed for more publications by John Pool

Yassin A, Debat V, Bastide H, Gadesweski N, David JR*, Pool JE* (2016) Recurrent specialization on a toxic fruit in an island Drosophila population. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 113:4771-4776.

Lack JB, Monette MJ, Johanning EJ, Sprengelmeyer QD, Pool JE (2016) Decanalization of wing development accompanied the evolution of large wings in high altitude Drosophila. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 113:1014-1019.

Yassin A, Bastide H, Chung H, Veuille M, David JR, Pool JE (2016) Ancient balancing selection at tan underlies female color dimorphism in Drosophila erecta. Nat Commun 7:10400.

Lack JB, Cardeno CM, Crepeau MW, Taylor W, Corbett-Detig RB, Stevens KA, Langley CH, Pool JE (2015) The Drosophila Genome Nexus: a population genomic resource of 623 Drosophila melanogaster genomes, including 197 from a single ancestral range population. Genetics 199:1229-1241.

Pool JE (2015) Natural selection shapes the mosaic ancestry of the Drosophila Genetic Reference Panel and the D. melanogaster reference genome. Mol Biol Evol 32:3236-3251.