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CALS alumnus appointed to the Society of Fellows at Harvard University

Dr. Julien Ayroles, a recent Ph.D. graduate from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ Department of Genetics, has been appointed to the prestigious Society of Fellows at Harvard University. Ayroles was co-mentored at N.C. State University by CALS professors Dr. Trudy Mackay and Dr. Eric Stone. His Ph.D. dissertation focused on developing a new paradigm of systems genetics to elucidate the genetic architecture of complex traits using the model system Drosophila melanogaster.

In his new position, Ayroles will investigate one of the most fundamental goals in modern biology — to understand the relationship between genotypic and phenotypic variation. This problem is particularly interesting in the context of adaptive evolution. As a Harvard Junior Fellow, he will combine the power of modern genomics with theoretical and empirical approaches in population genetics and molecular biology to study the genetic basis of adaptation.

The purpose of the Society of Fellows, organized in 1933, is to provide scholars at an early stage of their careers an opportunity to pursue their studies in any department at Harvard University, free from formal requirements. Junior Fellows are appointed for three years and are selected based upon exceptional ability, originality, resourcefulness and having the highest caliber of intellectual achievement, comparable to successful candidates for junior faculty positions at leading universities. The Junior Fellows are selected by the Senior Fellows, who, with the president of Harvard University and the dean of the faculty of Arts and Sciences, ex officio, administer the Society.