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Other Evolutionary Theory

  • There have been reports that the molecular clock shows elevated rates at very short timescales. We found that this can be explained by the persistence of ancestral polymorphisms, and characterized the relevant timescales for both molecular clock and Ka/Ks data (Peterson & Masel 2009).
  • I am interested in the mismatch between the assumed importance of genetic drift in evolution, and the absence of data supporting this role (Masel 2011, Masel 2012).
  • I have been thinking a lot about mutation load under sexual selection for a costly signalling trait lately, but haven’t started working on it yet.


  • Nelson P, Masel J. (2017) Intercellular competition and the inevitability of multicellular aging, PNAS 114: 12982–12987
  • Masel, J. (2012) Rethinking Hardy-Weinberg and genetic drift in undergraduate biology. BioEssays 34:701-710
  • Masel, J. (2011) Genetic drift. Current Biology, 21(20), R837-R838 Go to document.
  • Peterson, G. I., & Masel, J. (2009). Quantitative prediction of molecular clock and Ka/Ks at short timescales. Mol Biol Evol. (PubMed)Go to document (doi)Go to document