Landscape Transcriptomics A Virtual Brown-Bag Series Spring 2021

Landscape transcriptomics - connecting patterns of gene expression to landscape level processes. This approach focuses on how differences in the response of the genome correspond to landscape-scale variables such as climate, community composition, and habitat matrix.

The goal of the brown-bag series is to discuss and develop this concept – what it is, why it could be useful, what are roadblocks to doing it? They will take place Wednesdays from 10:30AM – 12:00PM

Registration is required to get the Zoom link for the series.


The first two brown-bags will feature “local” Penn State researchers in a “tag-team” format, each with a 30 min slot = 20-25 min talks with 5-10 min questions.

After a week break, the next four will feature 1 researcher invited from “outside” Penn State, giving a standard ~45 min talk with 10 min questions.

With both formats, 20 min will be reserved for breakout room discussion + 10 min summary with entire group.


  • explore "landscape transcriptomics" as a potential new research approach
  • identify what types of related research is already being done
  • brainstorm possible future research directions
  • determine potential barriers and potential solutions
  • network and build a group of like-minded researchers to take this concept forward

Week 1: March 17

Jason Keagy, Assistant Research Professor of Wildlife Behavioral Ecology, Dept Ecosystem Science and Management, Penn State University

"Landscape transcriptomics: what's in a name?"

Jesse Lasky, Assistant Professor, Dept Biology, Penn State University

"Evolution of gene expression plasticity"

video recording

Stickleback photo credit: L. Brian Stauffer

Week 2: March 24

Christina Grozinger, Publius Vergilius Maro Professor of Entomology, Associate Director of Research, Institute for SAFES, Director, Insect Biodiversity Center, Penn State University AND Heather Hines, Associate Professor, Dept of Entomology and Dept of Biology, Penn State University

"Landscape transcriptomics for monitoring bee health"

Jim Marden, Professor, Dept of Biology, Director of Operations, Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences, Penn State University

"Experimental landscape transcriptomics"

video recording

Week 3: April 7

Mikhail "Misha" Matz, Professor, Dept Integrative Biology, University of Texas at Austin

“Epigenetics, schmepigenetics: gene body methylation is not a mechanism to regulate gene expression in response to novel environment.”

video recording

Coral image credit: James St. John

Week 4: April 14

Melis Akman, Adjunct Faculty, Green Biome Institute, Cal State East Bay

"From South African Proteas to Arabidopsis: Linking genes to the climate"

video recording

Ice plant photo credit: Sharon Mollerus

Week 5: April 21

David Lowry, Associate Professor, Plant Biology, Michigan State University

"Locally adaptive gene regulatory evolution across contrasting habitats in the yellow monkeyflower, Mimulus guttatus"

video recording

Monkeyflower photo credit: David Lowry

Week 6: April 28

Mariah Meek, Assistant Professor, Dept Integrative Biology, Michigan State University

"Fish in Hot Water: Understanding adaptive capacity to thermal stress in coldwater fishes"

video recording

Brook trout image credit: Jay Fleming (US NPS)

Series funded by a SNIP I grant from the Penn State College of Agriculture to:

  • Jason Keagy, Assistant Research Professor of Wildlife Behavioral Ecology, Dept of Ecosystem Sciences and Management
  • Christina Grozinger, Publius Vergilius Maro Professor of Entomology, Dept of Entomology; Director, Center for Pollinator Research, Insect Biodiversity Center
  • Heather Hines, Associate Professor, Dept of Entomology and Dept of Biology
  • Tyler Wagner, U.S. Geological Survey, Assistant Unit Leader, PA Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, Adjunct Professor of Fisheries Ecology, Dept of Ecosystem Sciences and Management

For questions about the series, please contact Jason Keagy, keagy@psu.edu.

Created By
Jason Keagy


Created with images by Pexels - "forest nature trees" • La55i3Girl - "purple aster flower bumble bee"