ParulJohri_headshot.JPG

About me

I am a postdoctoral researcher with Jeffrey Jensen at Arizona State University and I worked with Michael Lynch during my PhD at Indiana University. I am an incoming Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in the Department of Biology and the Department of Genetics! I'll be starting in January 2023 and will be looking to hire postdoctoral researchers and graduate students. Please get in touch if you are interested!

 

My research interest broadly spans population genetics and molecular evolution. I am interested in how non-adaptive evolutionary processes like changes in population size, recombination rate, presence of negative selection and factors such as genome architecture shape patterns of variation.  I am currently working on making statistical methods to measure the extent of such evolutionary forces from population-genomic data with specific interests in inference of demography and the distribution of fitness effects of deleterious mutations. 

"It does not deny that change, when it occurs, may be mediated by natural selection, but it holds that constraints restrict possible paths and modes of change so strongly that the constraints themselves become much the most interesting aspect of evolution."
-Gould and Lewontin, 1979

I got my bachelors degree in mathematics in Delhi, where I spent most of my time studying pure mathematics and thinking about extremely abstract concepts. Wanting to find an application of mathematics to biology, I spent some time pursuing a masters in biology trying to understand which questions I wanted to pursue research in and thankfully also got to audit some advanced probability theory courses in the computer science department at TIFR, Mumbai. Luckily, during my masters I got my hands on some papers by Michael Lynch, Tomoko Ohta and Motoo Kimura and started reading John Gillespie's book, which led me to being fascinated by population genetics.

EDUCATION

2018 - Present

2012 - 2018

2009 - 2012

2006 - 2009

Postdoctoral Researcher

Arizona State University

Advisor: Jeffrey D. Jensen

PhD, Evolution, Ecology and Behavior Program

Indiana University, Bloomington

Advisor: Michael Lynch

Master's in Biology

Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai, India

B. Sc. in Mathematics

St. Stephen's College, Delhi, India