John H. Willis

Professor of Biology

3314 French Science Center, Science Drive, Durham, NC 27708
Campus Box: 
Box 90338, Department Of Biology, Durham, NC 27708-0338
(919) 660-7340
We conduct research on broad issues in evolutionary genetics, and we are currently addressing questions relating to the evolution of adaptation, reproductive isolation, breeding systems, inbreeding depression, and floral traits in natural plant populations. Please see our lab web page for more information.


  • Ph.D., University of Chicago 1991

Flagel, LE, Willis, JH, and Vision, TJ. "The standing pool of genomic structural variation in a natural population of Mimulus guttatus." Genome Biology and Evolution 6, no. 1 (January 2014): 53-64. Full Text

Hellsten, U, Wright, KM, Jenkins, J, Shu, S, Yuan, Y, Wessler, SR, Schmutz, J, Willis, JH, and Rokhsar, DS. "Fine-scale variation in meiotic recombination in Mimulus inferred from population shotgun sequencing." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 110, no. 48 (November 13, 2013): 19478-19482. Full Text

Wright, KM, Lloyd, D, Lowry, DB, Macnair, MR, and Willis, JH. "Indirect evolution of hybrid lethality due to linkage with selected locus in Mimulus guttatus." Plos Biology 11, no. 2 (January 2013): e1001497-null. Full Text

Sweigart, AL, and Willis, JH. "Molecular evolution and genetics of postzygotic reproductive isolation in plants." F1000 Biology Reports 4, no. 1 (December 3, 2012). Full Text

Modliszewski, JL, and Willis, JH. "Allotetraploid Mimulus sookensis are highly interfertile despite independent origins." Molecular Ecology 21, no. 21 (November 2012): 5280-5298. Full Text

Mojica, JP, Lee, YW, Willis, JH, and Kelly, JK. "Spatially and temporally varying selection on intrapopulation quantitative trait loci for a life history trade-off in Mimulus guttatus." Molecular Ecology 21, no. 15 (August 2012): 3718-3728. Full Text

Strasburg, JL, Sherman, NA, Wright, KM, Moyle, LC, Willis, JH, and Rieseberg, LH. "What can patterns of differentiation across plant genomes tell us about adaptation and speciation?." Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences 367, no. 1587 (February 2012): 364-373. (Review) Full Text


Selected Grants

A genome-wide investigation of factors causing postzygotic isolation between two Mimulus species awarded by National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2000 to 2004

Dissertation Research: Ecological genetics of life-history evolution in Mimulus guttatus awarded by National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2001 to 2003

Doctoral Dissertation: Barriers to genetic exchange between two species of Mimulus awarded by National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2000 to 2002