Dr. Keisha Carlson

Dr. Keisha Carlson
Assistant Professor of Biology

Areas of expertise

  • Genetics
  • Genomics
  • Bioinformatics
  • Molecular biology
  • Plant biology


  • Ph.D., Genome Sciences, University of Washington, 2014
  • B.S. Biology, Brown University, 2008


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About Dr. Carlson

I am interested in how genomes evolve to generate the amazing diversity of life we see (and don't see!) on our planet. I use plants as a model to study genome evolution as plants are sessile (they can't move!) and therefore plants must rapidly adapt to their environments with fine-tuned environmental responses. One way organisms' genomes can evolve is through whole genome duplication or polyploidization. In my lab, we study a polyploid plant called Arabidopsis suecica in attempt to understand how having extra, diverse genome copies has allowed Arabidopsis suecica to adapt to its environment. One example environmental adaptation in A. suecica is drought resistance/tolerance in some lines but not others. We use techniques in plant physiology and development, molecular genetics, genomics and bioinformatics to answer our scientific questions.

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Recent publications

Carlson K.D., Bhogale S., *Anderson D., Tomanek L., and Madlung A. "Phytochrome A regulates carbon flux in dark grown tomato seedlings." Front Plant Sci. 2019 Feb 27;10:152.

Carlson K.D., Fernandez-Pozo N., Bombarely A., Pisupati R., Mueller L.A., and Madlung A. "Natural variation in stress response gene activity in the allopolyploid Arabidopsis suecica." BMC Genomics. 2017; 18: 653.

Carlson K.D., Sudmant P.H., Press M.O., Eichler E.E., Shendure J., and Queitsch C. "MIPSTR: a method for multiplex genotyping of germ-line and somatic STR variation across many individuals." Genome Res. 2015;25(5):750-61.

Press M.O., Carlson K.D., and Queitsch C. "The overdue promise of short tandem repeat variation for trait heritability." Trends Genet. 2014;30(11):504-12.

Queitsch C., Carlson K.D., and Girirajan S. "Lessons from model organisms: phenotypic robustness and missing heritability in complex disease." PLoS Genet. 2012;(8)11.

*undergraduate author