- B.A., Oberlin College, 1985
- M.A., University of California, 1993
- Ph.D., University of California, 1995
Hybridization can cause increases in genetic diversity, create novel gene combinations, transfer adaptations from one taxon to another, break down or build up reproductive barriers, and create wholly new taxa. There is little doubt that hybridization between plants, especially when followed by geographic or reproductive isolation, represents enormous evolutionary potential and has been responsible for the evolution of a large number of species. The ecological and evolutionary dynamics of gene exchange are the subjects of my research.
Restrictions to gene flow between taxa can occur at two levels. First: local selection may favor a native over an immigrant genome (local adaptation), and reproductive barriers can restrict effective gene exchange. Second: the distribution of potential mates (population diversity and density) may determine mating options and individual immigrant fitness, especially since immigrants are often rare. Thus frequency- and density-dependent selection may be as important as, and interact with, natural selection in regulating gene flow between divergent populations. I study how natural and frequency-dependent selection and reproductive biology affect hybridization between divergent plant populations and the potential for evolution of novel taxa.
For more information about my research, please visit my lab website.
- Potter, S., S.G. Stafford, J.L. Travis, J.P. Collins, S.T.A. Pickett, C.B. Fenster, E.S. Nagy, M. Poston. (2015). Opportunities Abound: A call for leadership in the life sciences. BioScience, 65(1):14-20.
- Porter, J.H, E.S. Nagy, P.C. Hanson, T.K. Kratz, S.L. Collins and P. Arzberger. (2008). New eyes on the world: advanced sensors for ecology. BioScience. Invited.
- Rice, K.J. and E.S. Nagy. (2000). Oak canopy effects on the distribution patterns of two annual grasses: the role of competition and soil nutrients. American Journal of Botany, 87: 1699-1706.
- Nagy, E.S., L. Strong, and L.F. Galloway. (1999). Contribution of delayed autonomous selfing to reproductive success in Mountain Laurel, Kalmia latifolia (Ericaceae). American Midland Naturalist, 142: 39-46.
- Nagy, E.S. (1997). Selection for native characters in hybrids between two locally adapted plant subspecies. Evolution, 51: 1469-1480.