The Jiggins Lab Webpage

Arunkumar Ramesh

Research Interests

I am interested in the genetic architecture of variability in resistance to infection within a population. Why susceptible individuals persist in a population when resistance to infection confers higher fitness in the presence of parasites remains an open question. One reason for the maintenance of this variability could be that the fitness of resistance individuals is reduced in the absence of parasites. To understand the basis behind the presence of this variability, I study the interaction between the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster and parasitoid wasps. Specifically, I investigate which genes are associated with resistance to parasitoid wasps in D. melanogaster. Further, I study nature of epistatic interactions between epistatic genes and the reasons they are costly in the absence of parasitoid wasps.

Education and Employment

2016 Research associate, Department of Paediatrics, Oxford University

2011- 2016 Ph.D. in Evolutionary Biology, University of Toronto

2008 - 2011 B.Sc. (Hons), University of Toronto


Arunkumar R, Wang W, Wright SI, Barrett SCH. (2016) The genetic architecture of tristyly and its breakdown to self-fertilization Molecular Ecology doi: 10.1111/mec.13946

Arunkumar R, Maddison TI, Barrett SCH, Wright SI. (2016) Recent mating-system evolution in Eichhornia is accompanied by cis-regulatory divergence New Phytologist 211: 697-707. doi: 10.1111/nph.13918

Arunkumar, R., Ness, R.W., Wright, S.I., & Barrett, S.C.H. (2015) The evolution of selfing is accompanied by reduced efficacy of selection and purging of deleterious mutations. Genetics 199: 817-29, doi: 10.1534/genetics.114.172809

Douglas, G.M., Gos, G., Steige, K.A., Salcedo, A., Holm, K., Josephs, E.B., Arunkumar, R., Ågren, J.A., Hazzouri, K.M., Wang, W., Platts, A.E., Williamson, R.J., Neuffer, B., Lascoux, M., Slotte, T., & Wright, S.I. (2015) Hybrid origins and the earliest stages of diploidization in the highly successful recent polyploidy Capsella bursa-pastoris. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 112: 2806-11, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1412277112

Barrett, S.C.H, Arunkumar, R., & Wright S.I. (2014) The demography and population genomics of evolutionary transitions to self-fertilization in plants. Philosophical Transactions Royal Society London Ser. B. 369:1648, doi:10.1098/rstb.2013.0344

Arunkumar, R., Josephs, E.B., Williamson, R.J., & Wright, S.I. (2013) Pollen-specific, but not sperm-specific, genes show stronger purifying selection and higher rates of positive selection than sporophytic genes in Capsella grandiflora. Molecular Biology and Evolution 30: 2475-86, doi:10.1093/molbev/mst149