Conner Lab

W.K. Kellogg Biological Station

Michigan State University

Jeffrey K. Conner

3700 East Gull Lake Drive

Hickory Corners, MI 49060

Members of my lab group conduct laboratory, greenhouse, and field studies integrating evolution, genetics, genomics, and ecology. Our goal is to attack problems at the interface of these areas in novel ways. Currently most of these studies deal with plant-insect interactions, especially pollination.

A Primer of Ecological Genetics

    by Jeffrey K. Conner and Daniel L. Hartl

"Your new Primer of Ecological Genetics is absolutely terrific, and I plan on making it required reading for graduate students in my lab and for other graduate students on whose committees I serve. Your book is bound to go a long way in clearing up fuzzy thinking about basic concepts at the interface of evolution and ecology. Just as importantly, I think your book will result in much better experimental design -- and much clearer discussion of results -- in future dissertations and the papers that result from them."    -- John N. Thompson, University of California at Santa Cruz

I find that this volume will be very useful for both inspired undergraduates who plan on initiating honors studies or independent research, and for beginning graduate students. . . . This primer will help young biologists learn the nuts and bolts of ecological genetics, as well as its practical application.    -- Jeffry B. Mitton, The Quarterly Review of Biology

Until now, a textbook aimed at undergraduates and early postgraduates, which integrates both population and quantitative genetics, has been lacking. In six chapters, Conner and Hartl have successfully filled this gap... The well-planned structure, easy reading style and extensive coverage make this book valuable not only to undergraduate students but also for population and quantitative geneticists aiming to expand their scope of their own research.    -- JM Cano Arias, Heredity

In sum, A Primer of Ecological Genetics provides a lucid introduction to foundational principles in the field. In their preface, Conner and Hartl state, The guiding principle of the book is to focus on clear explanations of the key concepts in the evolution of natural and managed populations. The first edition of A Primer of Ecological Genetics accomplishes this nicely. I recommend it with enthusiasm.    -- Mark C. Ungerer, BioScience

What’s new:


  1. Jeff gave a talk and Sam a poster on long and short stamen evolution in mustards at the BEACON Congress in East Lansing.


  1. A flurry of pubs from the lab – one on the radish genome and fates of duplicated genes, one on the lab project on correlation patterns across plants and animals, a paper Jeff wrote with Russ Lande on Raisa Berg’s life and impact, and a “data descriptor” on the radish anther exsertion project in the new online journal from Nature Publications, Scientific Data.

  2. Anne gave a fabulous talk for her Ph.D defense, and is now off to her postdoc at Willamette University and University of Oregon.  We miss her already!


  1. The lab was well-represented at the annual Society for the Study of Evolution meetings in     Raleigh -- Amanda, Jeff, and Raffica gave talks and Sam gave a poster.  Jeff’s talk was recorded and available here.


  1. Jeff is co-PI on a new pilot grant entitled “Establishing a germplasm collection of East Mediterranean crucifer plant genetic resources” from the Israeli Multinational Agricultural Research and Development Program.  This collaboration includes Ian Dworkin and Israeli, Jordanian, and Palestinian investigators.