Sympatric Speciation, Experimental Evolution, Genetics of Adaptation, Yeast Sporulation
Kelly is interested in the factors (both genetic and environmental) that drive biodiversity. Why are some monophyletic groups so speciose while other groups are not? Is the majority of the biological diversity we see the result of allopatry, sympatry, or parapatry?
She is currently working on projects directly related to the idea of sympatry, focusing on the necessary ecological elements in a sympatric speciation event and how behavioral trade-offs can allow for possible divergence events. Her dissertation will cover theoretical elements of evolution as well as comparative analysis of selection by different mechanisms and long term evolution experiments.