Jennifer Jo Wernegreen

Jennifer Jo Wernegreen

Associate Professor of Environmental and Evolutionary Genomics

Research in our lab centers on environmental and evolutionary genomics, primarily in bacteria. Broadly, our group explores mechanisms shaping genetic and functional variation in microbes that play important roles in the natural environment. Much of our work integrates evolutionary, population genetic, computational, and molecular approaches to clarify how bacterial genomes change over time. Among these studies, we are exploring how ecological interactions – such as symbiosis - influence genome content and architecture of the species involved. Conversely, we also explore how genomic alterations can impact microbial functions and interactions. As models to link genomics and environmental biology, we largely focus on mutualistic microbes, including bacteria that supply essential nutrients to invertebrate hosts.


Brown, BP, and Wernegreen, JJ. "Deep divergence and rapid evolutionary rates in gut-associated Acetobacteraceae of ants." BMC microbiology 16, no. 1 (July 11, 2016): 140-.
Wernegreen, JJ. "Endosymbiont evolution: predictions from theory and surprises from genomes." Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1360 (December 2015): 16-35. (Review)
Yung, C-M, Vereen, MK, Herbert, A, Davis, KM, Yang, J, Kantorowska, A, Ward, CS, Wernegreen, JJ, Johnson, ZI, and Hunt, DE. "Thermally adaptive tradeoffs in closely related marine bacterial strains." Environmental microbiology 17, no. 7 (July 2015): 2421-2429.

Contact Information

101 Science Drive, Box 3382, 2175 CIEMAS
Durham, NC 27708
101 Science Drive, CIEMAS Rm. 2175, Duke University, Box 3382
Durham, NC 27708


Ph.D., Yale University (1998)