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Melissa Wilson is a computational evolutionary biologist whose main research interests include sex-biased biology.

She studies the evolution of sex chromosomes, why mutation rates differ between males and females, and how changes in population history affect the sex chromosomes differently than non-sex chromosomes. Generally she studies mammals, but she is also curious about the sex-biased biology of flies, worms and plants. In recent years she and collaborators launched a crowdfunding campaign to fund the first genome sequencing of the Gila monster.

Most recently she has published work on the disproportionate way autoimmune diseases attack women's immune systems.

Wilson is also active in public science engagement and outreach, routinely teaching in K-12 classrooms and engaging the public in discussions about the difference between sex and gender, the importance (or not) of genetic inheritance, and understanding evolution. Learn more about her lab at

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(480) 727-6366


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