Assistant Professor, Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Caroline Parins-Fukuchi is an assistant professor in the Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology. She received her PhD from the University of Michigan.
Parins-Fukuchi's research program is fundamentally concerned with understanding the patterns and processes by which organisms evolve novel characteristics.
“Throughout the history of life, these diverse biological “innovations” facilitate species' expansion into new habitats and frequently appear suddenly,” she says. “I develop new computational methods to analyze genomic and anatomical data to contribute a better understanding of how fossil and living organisms undergo such dramatic changes.”
Parins-Fukuchi first started exploring these questions toward the end of her doctorate at the University of Michigan, building upon earlier work where she developed new statistical approaches to reconstruct the evolutionary relationships between species. She started exploring these questions to understand the evolution of ape skeletons in her publication in the journal Evolution, "Mosaic evolution, preadaptation, and the evolution of evolvability in apes." She spent much of her postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Chicago bringing genomic data into the fold, culminating in her paper in the journal PNAS, "Phylogenomic conflict coincides with rapid morphological innovation."