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Jesse Taylor

Assoc Professor
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 1804
Assoc Professor
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 1804
Associate Professor
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 1804
Assoc Professor
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 1804
Biography

Jay Taylor is an evolutionary biologist who uses mathematical models and statistical genetics to understand how populations evolve in complex and changing environments. His research has largely focused on two areas. One of these concerns the interplay between demographic and environmental stochasticity in evolving populations. Although many selected mutations are either unconditionally advantageous or deleterious in the environments in which they occur, others probably have fitness effects that vary from one generation to the next in response to environmental changes. Modeling and identifying such mutations is challenging, however, because they are affected both by genetic drift and by fluctuating selection. Professor Taylor's contribution to this problem has been to use coalescent theory to explore the impact of different kinds of fluctuating selection on gene genealogies.

Professor Taylor is also interested in the evolution of parasites that cause chronic infectious diseases such as malaria (Plasmodium spp.) and African sleeping sickness (Trypanosoma brucei). These organisms have evolved elaborate strategies such as antigenic variation which allow them to survive despite being targeted by their hosts' immune systems. In some parasites, such as T. brucei, antigenic variation is achieved with the help of large multigene families that include numerous pseudogenes. However, because these pseudogenes also contribute to antigenic diversity through processes such as segmental gene conversion, they are likely subject to both selection and genetic drift. Current work in the Taylor lab is concerned with understanding the dynamics of pseudogene formation in antigen repertoires using both multiscale mathematical models and analysis of parasite genomes.

More recently, Professor Taylor has become interested in the biology and natural history of soil mites in the Madrean sky islands of southern Arizona and northern Sonora. Although extensive work has been done on the plants, insects and vertebrates occurring within this region, relatively little is known about the acarofauna. Professor Taylor's current projects are focused on characterizing species diversity in these soil mite assemblages, with the longer term goal of using them to explore questions in population genetics and evolutionary ecology. In addition, the lab is examining the diversity and epidemiology of myrmecophilous mites in the Sonoran desert. This work includes both a broad survey of ant species occurring within the region, as well as a more focused study of mites associated with two species of seed harvester ants, Novomessor cockerelli and N. albisetosus

Education

PhD (Ecology and Evolutionary Biology), 2003, University of Arizona, Tucson

Jay Taylor's faculty webpage

Research Interests

1. Natural history of soil and myrmecophilous mites of Arizona and Sonora

2. Theoretical population genetics, especially coalescent theory

3. Evolution of antigen gene repertoires

 

 

Publications
  • Muehlenbein MP, Pacheco MA, Taylor JE, Prall SP, Ambu L, Nathan S, Alsisto S, Ramirez D, Escalante AA. Accelerated diversification of non-human primate malarias in Southeast Asia: adaptive radiation or geographic speciation?. Molecular Biology and Evolution (2015).
  • J. E. Taylor, M. A. Pacheco, D. J. Bacon, M. A. Beg, R. L. Machado, R. M. Fairhurst, S. Herrera, J.-Y. Kim, D. Menard, M. M. Povoa, L. Villegas, Mulyanto, G. Snounou, L. Cui, F. Y. Zeyrik, A. A. Escalante. The evolutionary history of Plasmodium vivax as inferred from mitochondrial genomes: parasite genetic diversity in the Americas. Molecular Biology and Evolution (2013).
  • Taylor, J. E. The effect of fluctuating selection on the genealogy at a linked site. Theoretical Population Biology (2013).
  • Hernandez-Ceron, N., Mubayi, A., and Taylor, J. E. The Effects of Epidemic Dynamics on MHC Diversity. MTBI Technical Report (2012).
  • Stanne, T. M., Kushwaha, M., Wand, M., Taylor, J. E., and Rudenko, G. TbISWI regulates multiple Pol I transcribed loci and is present at Pol II transcription boundaries in Trypanosoma brucei. Eukaryotic Cell (2011).
  • Etheridge, A., Griffiths, R. C. and Taylor, J. E. A coalescent dual process in a Moran model with genic selection, and the lambda coalescent limit. Theoretical Population Biology (2010).
  • Hutzenthaler, M. and Taylor, J. E. Time Reversal of the Pseudo-hitchhiking Model and Some Related Jump-Diffusion Processes from Population Genetics. Journal of Applied Probability (2010).
  • Tang, W., Taylor, J. E., and Mahalov, A. Lagrangian dynamics in stochastic inertia-gravity waves. Physics of Fluids (2010).
  • Taylor, J. E. The Genealogical Consequences of Fecundity Variance Polymorphism. Genetics (2009).
  • Taylor, J. E. and Veber, Amandine. Coalescent Processes in Subdivided Populations Subject to Recurrent Mass Extinctions. Electronic Journal of Probability (2009).
Research Activity
Fall 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
STP 425Stochastic Processes
BIO 471Ornithology
MAT 495Undergraduate Research
BIO 495Undergraduate Research
AML 792Research
Summer 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
BIO 495Undergraduate Research
Spring 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
STP 421Probability
BIO 493Honors Thesis
BIO 495Undergraduate Research
BIO 498Pro-Seminar
BIO 545Populations Evolution Genetics
AML 792Research
Fall 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
BIO 340General Genetics
STP 421Probability
MAT 495Undergraduate Research
AML 792Research
Spring 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
STP 421Probability
BIO 493Honors Thesis
AML 792Research
Fall 2015
Course NumberCourse Title
MAT 394Special Topics
STP 421Probability
AML 792Research
Spring 2015
Course NumberCourse Title
STP 421Probability
BIO 493Honors Thesis
APM 504App. Prob. and Stochastic Proc
AML 792Research
Fall 2014
Course NumberCourse Title
STP 421Probability
MAT 492Honors Directed Study
MAT 494Special Topics
AML 792Research
Spring 2014
Course NumberCourse Title
ASM 394Special Topics
MAT 394Special Topics
MAT 494Special Topics
MAT 499Individualized Instruction
AML 792Research
Fall 2013
Course NumberCourse Title
STP 421Probability
MAT 492Honors Directed Study
MAT 494Special Topics
APM 541Stochastic Modeling in Biology
AML 792Research
Spring 2013
Course NumberCourse Title
MAT 394Special Topics
MAT 493Honors Thesis
MAT 494Special Topics
MAT 499Individualized Instruction
MAT 591Seminar
AML 792Research
Presentations
  • Jay Taylor, Ananias Escalante. Workshop on Population Genetics: Coalescent Theory and Molecular Epidemiology. 2014 ICEMR Meeting (Cayetano Heredia University, Lima, Peru) (Aug 2014).
  • Jay Taylor. Fluctuating Selection in Subdivided Populations. Colloquium talk for the Applied Mathematics Program, University of Arizona (Oct 2013).
  • Jay Taylor. Fecundity Variance and Genealogies in Fluctuating Environments. Colloquium talk for the Dept. of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology, UCSD (Nov 2012).
  • Jay Taylor. Fecundity Variance and Genealogies in Fluctuating Environments. MTBI summer program (Jul 2012).
  • Jay Taylor. Coalescent Theory and Genealogies. MTBI advanced student lecture (Jul 2012).
  • Jay Taylor. Environmental Variation and Genetic Drift in Subdivided Populations. MTBI summer program (ASU) (Jun 2011).
  • Jay Taylor. Substitution Processes in Molecular Evolution. Arizona Days (UA) (Apr 2011).
  • Jay Taylor. Diffusions, Genealogies, and Substitution Processes at Selected Loci. Colloquium talk for the Department of Mathematics & Statistics, Georgetown University (Oct 2010).
  • Jay Taylor. The Genealogical Consequences of Fecundity Variance Polymorphism. Math Biology Seminar (School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences) - 4 Dec. 2009 (Dec 2009).
  • Jay Taylor. Genealogical consequences of fecundity variance polymorphism. Workshop: New Mathematical Challenges from Molecular Biology and Genetics (BIRS) (Sep 2009).
  • Jay Taylor. Fluctuating Selection, Fecundity Variance Polymorphism and Coalescent Processes. Informal seminar in the School of Life Sciences (ASU) - 26 Sept. 2009 (Sep 2009).
  • Jay Taylor. The Genealogical Consequences of Fecundity Variance Polymorphism and Fluctuating Selection. Invited Talk (Department of Mathematics, University of Arizona) (Mar 2009).
  • Jay Taylor. Diffusions and Structured Coalescents. Workshop: Recent Developments in Coalescent Theory (Uppsala University) (Mar 2009).
Service
  • PLoS Pathogens, referee (2014 - Present)
  • Theoretical Population Biology, referee (2014 - Present)
  • Journal of Mathematical Biology, referee (2014 - Present)
  • Genetics, referee (2014 - Present)
  • Genetics, referee (2013 - Present)
  • Steering Committee for the Graduate Program in Evolutionary Biology (SoLS), member (2013 - Present)
  • MBI, attendee (2013 - Present)
  • Bulletin of Mathematical Biology, referee (2013 - Present)
  • Mathematical Population Studies, referee (2013 - Present)
  • Christmas Bird Count (run by the National Audubon Society), field observer (2012 - Present)
  • American Naturalist, referee (2012 - Present)
  • Mathematical Medicine and Biology, referee (2012 - Present)
  • MBI, attendee (2012 - Present)
  • Genetics, referee (2012 - Present)
  • Theoretical Population Biology, referee (2012 - Present)
  • Center for Evolutionary Medicine and Informatics (Biodesign Institute), Key faculty member (2010 - Present)
  • Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park, volunteer docent (2014 - 2015)
  • eBird/Cornell University Laboratory of Ornithology, field observer (2014 - 2014)
  • Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park, volunteer docent (2013 - 2014)
  • SoMSS Colloquium/Distinguished Lecture Series, Co-chair (2012 - 2013)
  • SoMSS Colloquium/Distinguished Lecture Series, Co-chair (2010 - 2012)
  • Christmas Bird Count (run by the National Audubon Society), field observer (2011 - 2011)
  • Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, member (2010 - 2011)
  • Christmas Bird Count (run by the National Audubon Society), field observer (2010 - 2010)
  • North American Migration Count, field observer (2010 - 2010)
  • Probability and Statistics Search Committee, member (2009 - 2010)
  • Secondary Mathematics Education (BAE) Major Map committee, committee member (2009 - 2010)