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Amanda Lea

Assistant Professor, Department of Biological Sciences

Research Overview

A major goal in evolutionary biology and medicine is to understand the genetic architecture of complex traits, especially health-related traits that also contribute to Darwinian fitness. Achieving this goal remains a challenge because complex traits are not only determined by genotype, which can be measured concurrently with the trait itself, but also by social and ecological experiences that accumulate across the entire life course—including years or decades earlier. However, because collecting life course data is difficult, the contribution of environmental experiences (especially in early life) to long-term health remains poorly understood, as does the degree to which these exposures modify the relationship between genotype and phenotype.