Marine Genomics is genome biology applied to marine organism.  Our research is about the genomics of how animals work, evolve and adapt. We use evolutionary approaches to gain a better understanding of physiology, toxicology and  human health and disease.  Professors Douglas Crawford's and Marjorie Oleksiak's work is featured in Nature, Nature Genetics, Proceeding of the Natural Academy of Science, Science, American Journal of Physiology, Journal of Biological Chemistry, Journal of Experimental Biology, BMC Genomics, Aquatic Toxicology, Molecular Ecology, and Molecular Biology & Evolution. 

Drs. Crawford's and Oleksiak’s functional genomics research focuses on evolved differences within and among populations using transcriptomics, population genetics and evolutionary analyses to better understand how animals work.   Specifically, they share a common interest in adaptive differences in gene expression and the molecular mechanisms that are responsible for these differences.  Dr. Crawford’s research focuses on patterns of gene expression that affect metabolism and cardiac physiology and utilize evolutionary analyses as an assay of biological importance.  Dr. Oleksiak’s research focuses on gene expression and molecular mechanisms responsible for the adaptation to pollution and other toxicological stressors.  The research focuses on the evolution of natural variation to better understand how variation can affect human health.


Much of the research in our laboratories focuses on Fundulus heteroclitus, a small species of killifish found in estuarine and brackish waters between northeastern Florida and the Gulf of St. Lawrence.  Different populations and species of these fish have demonstrated an ability to adapt to extreme environmental conditions, including temperature changes, salinity, hypoxia and environmental pollutions.  By studying how the expression of genes affects the health, longevity and physiological performance, we learn how genes are important for human health.


Drs. Majorie F. Oleksiak and Douglas L. Crawford investigate the quantitative differences within and among species utilizing RNA-Seq, genotyping by sequencing, and evolutionary analyses to understand adaptation.