Sarah Otto



I am a full professor in the Department of Zoology, studying population genetics and evolutionary biology. I develop and analyse mathematical models to study how populations change over time. The aim of this work is to identify when and whether particular evolutionary transitions are possible. I am particularly interested in understanding the evolution of the following traits:

  • Ploidy level — When are haploid or diploid life cycles favored by evolution?
  • Mating system — How do mating preferences evolve? When is sexual reproduction favored over asexual reproduction?
  • The architecture of the genome — How do recombination rates/mutation rates evolve? How do chromosomes evolve?