Kieran Samuk

Postdoctoral Fellow

Duke University

Noor Lab

I am an evolutionary geneticist fascinated by how recombination shapes the process of evolution and the diversity of life.

I tackle my research questions using a variety of tools, including population genomics, experimental evolution, and computer simulations.

I am also passionate about the positive role of computer software in reproducible scientific research and science education.

I am currently a Postdoctoral Associate in Mohamed Noor’s lab at Duke University.


  • Evolutionary genomics
  • Recombination
  • Adaptation & Speciation
  • Scientific software


  • PhD in Zoology, 2016

    University of British Columbia

  • MSc in Zoology, 2011

    University of British Columbia

  • HBSc in Zoology, 2008

    University of Toronto


The modulatory role of recombination

How does recombination rate shape evolutionary processes?

Chromosomal inversions

What role do chromosomal inversions play in biological adaptation?

Recombination Evolution

How does recombination rate itself evolve in natural populations?


  1. Natural selection shapes variation in genome-wide recombination rate in Drosophila pseudoobscura
    Current Biology (In Revision).


  2. Evolutionary dynamics of recent selection for enhanced social cognition
    PNAS (In Revision).


  3. Ancestral reconstruction of sunflower karyotypes reveals dramatic chromosomal evolution.
    Genetics (In Review).


  4. Adaptive introgression during environmental change can weaken reproductive isolation
    Nature Climate Change.


  5. Shared patterns of genome-wide differentiation are more strongly predicted by geography than by ecology.
    The American Naturalist.


  6. Exposure to predators does not lead to the evolution of larger brains in experimental populations of threespine stickleback.


  7. Gene flow and selection interact to promote adaptive divergence in regions of low recombination
    Molecular Ecology.


  8. An experimental test of the effect of predation upon behaviour and trait correlations in the threespine stickleback
    Biological Journal of the Linnean Society.


  9. Inversions and the origin of behavioral differences in cod
    Molecular Ecology (Perspective).


  10. Reversed brain size sexual dimorphism accompanies loss of parental care in white sticklebacks
    Ecology and Evolution.


  11. Indiscriminate care of offspring predates the evolution of sociality in alloparenting social spiders
    Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology.


  12. Sister clade comparisons reveal reduced maternal care behavior in social cobweb spiders
    Behavioral Ecology.


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