Tanya is currently a PERT Postdoc at the University of Arizona in the Center for Insect Science working with Dr. Wendy Moore. Her current work focuses on the molecular evolution of chemoreception and host ant specialization in paussine beetles. Members of the subfamily Paussinae are both ecologically and evolutionarily interesting because of their myrmecophilous relationships, sometimes fully integrating into the social lives of ants. Together with Dr. Moore and collaborators, Tanya is exploring the genetic mechanisms underlying host ant recognition using next-generation sequencing, and is working to reconstruct the evolutionary history of chemosensory genes while also examining functional divergence.
Tanya is interested in the processes and patterns involved in diversification that can ultimately influence functionality at the molecular level. She takes an integrative approach in studying adaptation by combining bioinformatics, phylogenetic inference, protein-specific divergence, and selection studies. From carnivorous plants to plant-insect recognition, Tanya takes protein functional evolution to the next level of adaptive significance. If you are looking for a fantastic grad school experience, considering joining the Renner Lab at SDSU in 2015!!!