Hopi E. Hoekstra

Hopi E. Hoekstra

Alexander Agassiz Professor of Zoology
Department of Organismic & Evolutionary Biology and
Department of Molecular & Cellular Biology, Harvard University
Hopi Hoekstra Photo

The Hoekstra Lab is interested in understanding the genetics of adaptation.

Our research focuses on understanding how variation is generated and maintained in natural populations. In particular, we are interested in understanding both the proximate (i.e., molecular, genetic, developmental and neurobiological mechanisms) and ultimate (i.e., timing, strength and agent of selection) causes of evolutionary change. Thus, much of our research focuses on identifying and characterizing the molecular changes responsible for traits that affect fitness of organisms in the wild. To this end, we use an interdisciplinary approach combining molecular techniques (ranging from next-gen sequencing and transcriptomics to cell-based pharmacological assays and in vivo viral vectors), population-genetic tests, classical genetic crosses, lab-based behavioral assays and field-based experiments. We focus primarily on natural populations of rodents in which ecological and genomic information can be combined to address fundamental questions about the evolution of morphological, behavioral and reproductive diversity.

Selected Publications:

Linnen, C.R., Y.-P. Poh, B.K. Peterson, R.D.H. Barrett, J.G. Larson, J.D. Jensen and H.E. Hoekstra. 2013. Adaptive evolution of multiple traits through multiple mutations at a single gene. Science 339:1312-1316.

Weber, J.N., B.K. Peterson and H.E. Hoekstra. 2013. Discrete genetic modules are responsible for the evolution of complex burrowing behaviour in deer mice. Nature 493:402-405.

Peterson, B.K, J.N. Weber, E.H. Kay, H.S. Fisher and H.E. Hoekstra. 2012. Double Digest RADseq: an inexpensive method for de novo SNP discovery and genotyping in model and non-model species. PLoS One 7(5):e37135.

Manceau, M., V.S. Domingues, R. Mallarino and H.E. Hoekstra. 2011. The developmental role of Agouti in color pattern evolution. Science 331:1062-1065.

Fisher, H.S. and H.E. Hoekstra. 2010. Competition drives cooperation among closely-related sperm of deer mice. Nature 463:801-803.


Contact Information

16 Divinity Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
p: 617 496-9040

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