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In this Section

Susan F. Bailey
Assistant Professor
Department of Biology
202 Science Center
Clarkson University
PO Box 5805
Potsdam, NY 13699-5805

Tel: 315-268-6400 ext.4263

B.Sc. McMaster University – Biology and Mathematics (2003)
M.Sc. University of Calgary – Ecology (2007)
Ph.D. University of Ottawa – Evolutionary Ecology (2013)
Postdoctoral Researcher, Bioinformatics Research Centre, Aarhus University, Denmark (2013-2016)

Courses Currently Taught
BY314/ BY514  Bioinformatics (Spring)
BY420/ BY620  Evolution (Fall)

Research Interests
I use a combination of microbial experimental evolution, bioinformatics, and mathematical/ statistical modeling approaches to investigate processes that drive evolutionary adaptation and diversification. Currently, my research has two main themes:

1) What drives parallel or convergent evolution?
Similar evolutionary changes arising in independently evolving populations, known as parallel or convergent evolution, are often taken to be evidence of strong selection. However, heterogeneity in mutation rate across the genome has the potential to play an equally important role. The relative contribution of these two processes and the potential for other factors to further modify patterns of parallel evolution in natural populations is still unclear and difficult to test. However, replicated experiments evolving populations of microbes have begun to provide some insight into the drivers of parallel evolution. I use a combination of experimental and statistical approaches to explore these important processes, with the ultimate goal of trying to understand if, and when, evolution is predictable.

2) Evolution in heterogeneous environments
The world is heterogeneous across many spatial and temporal scales, and these complexities have important implications for the dynamics of evolution. The particular evolutionary outcome that is realized depends on a number of factors, both ecological – e.g. strength and type of competition, and genetic – e.g. trade-offs in adaptation to multiple niches. I examine the effects of a number of these factors using both theoretical models and evolution experiments in the lab, aiming to better understand the processes that play important roles in populations living and evolving in the complex natural world.

Publications (last 5 years)
1) Bailey, SF, F Blanquart, T Bataillon, R Kassen (2017) What drives parallel evolution? BioEssays 39(1): 1-9
2) Bailey, SF, T Bataillon (2016) Can the experimental evolution programme help us elucidate the genetic basis of adaptation in nature? Molecular Ecology 25(1): 203-218
3) Schick, A, SF Bailey, R Kassen (2015) Evolution of fitness trade-offs in locally adapted populations of Pseudomonas fluorescens. American Naturalist 186: S48-S59
4) Hargreaves, AL, SF Bailey, RA Laird (2015) Fitness declines towards range limits and local adaptation to climate affect dispersal evolution during climate‐induced range shifts. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 28(8): 1489-1501.
5) Bailey, SF, N Rodrigue, R Kassen (2015) The effect of selection environment on the probability of parallel evolution. Molecular Biology and Evolution, msv033
6) Bataillon, T, SF Bailey (2014). Effects of new mutations on fitness: insights from models and data. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1320(1): 76-92
7) Bailey, SF, A Hinz, R Kassen (2014). Adaptive synonymous mutations in an experimentally evolved Pseudomonas fluorescens population. Nature Communications 5
8) Bailey, SF, JR Dettman, PB Rainey, R Kassen (2013) Competition both drives and impedes diversification in a model adaptive radiation. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences 280(1766): 20131253