Dr. Olsen's research focuses on the genetic basis of evolution in plants. Through his work, he attempts to answer how is the genetic variation that we find within a species is shaped by natural selection, population history, and other evolutionary forces.
Olsen often uses crop domestication as a model for rapid evolutionary change. The wealth of genetic and genomic information available for crops makes them useful for studying the molecular evolution of genes.
Topics of interest include the genetic basis of adaptive variation, the forces affecting genome-wide patterns of linkage disequilibrium, and phylogeography.
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