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We are interested in how sex chromosomes evolve, and why the evolutionary trajectories of sex chromosomes differ dramatically across eukaryotes. For example, sex determination is very labile in reptiles, amphibians and fishes but highly stable in mammals and most birds. We study the drivers of sex chromosome recombination suppression, the genomic signature, and the evolution and genomic basis of sex determination and endosymbionts manipulation of host reproduction. We integrate comparative and functional genomics, transcriptomics, molecular genetics, artificial selection, and fieldwork sampling to reveal the genomic signature and genetic architecture of sex.

The Ma lab is a member of the Biology Department at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel.