Elucidating the genetic basis of adaptation is one of the primary goals of evolutionary biology. I am using adaptation to dietary ethanol in Drosophila melanogaster, the common fruit fly, as a model system for studying the genetics of adaptation. Ethanol occurs naturally in the decaying fruits in which D. melanogaster breed, and natural populations in temperate regions have evolved high ethanol tolerance relative to ancestral tropical populations (and most other organisms!). By taking advantage of the many genetic resources available for D. melanogaster, my laboratory is identifying the genetic changes underlying the temperate tropical difference (e.g., Fry et al. 2008).
Other research interests, which I pursue mainly through theory and analysis of publicly available data, include the role of ecological divergence in speciation (e.g., Fry 2009) and the maintenance of genetic variation in life-history traits (e.g., Fry 2010).