Tara Z. Baris

Ph.D. Candidate, Marine Biology and Ecology

University of Miami

Rosenstiel School Marine and Atmospheric Sciences


I am interested in understanding the evolution of the oxidative phosphorylation (OxPhos) pathway in the mitochondria. This is the only pathway that involves proteins encoded by both mitochondrial and nuclear genomes. I am looking to see how the interactions between these two genomes have influenced the evolution of the pathway as a whole.

Populations of F. heteroclitus are distributed along a steep thermal cline where southern populations experience temperatures that are >12°C warmer than the northernmost populations and have evolved by natural selection to this clinal variation in temperature. My goal is to define the adaptive divergence in both nuclear and mitochondrial encoded OxPhos genes by quantifying the functional differences in the five enzyme complexes that form the pathway and relate these patterns to mRNA expression and nucleotide diversity. This research, focusing on the functional genetic variation in response to a thermal cline, will inform us of the magnitude of change required to adapt to temperature changes for future research concerning global climate change.


Email: tbaris@rsmas.miami.edu




Baris, TZ, Crawford, DL, Oleksiak, MF. Acclimation and Acute Temperature Effects on Population Differences in Oxidative Phosphorylation. American Journal of Physiology- Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology (in press).

Liu, Y, Nguyen, P, Baris, TZ, Poirier, MC. Molecular analysis of mitochondrial compromise in rodent cardiomyocytes exposed long term to nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs). Cardiovascular Toxicology 12(2), 123-134 (2012).