Rachel M. Wright | C4

Rachel M. Wright

Rachel is a graduate student working with "Mish" Matz at the University of Texas at Austin's Dept. of Integrative biology. The Matz lab is an ecological genomics lab working predominantly with reef-building corals. Their main research projects are: (1) Adaptive genetic variation in reef-building corals. They use genetics and genomics to discover molecular determinants of thermal tolerance, dispersal range, and symbiosis specificity, and trace their evolution in natural populations. (2) Functions of coral fluorescent proteins: an integrative study combining morphological, systems biology, and experimental biology approaches. (3) Factors affecting coral demography. They look at connectivity patterns and proximal mechanisms regulating larval settlement and survival. To address these questions, they make heavy use of next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies, continuously developing original methods to maximize the benefits from rapidly evolving NGS possibilities.

Rachel worked in industry at Worldwide Clinical Trials before going back to UT for her Ph.D. where she is currently in her fourth year.