Research interests

My research interests center around the interactions of drift, selection, mutation, and demography. As a population geneticist, I study how complex demographic histories impact the evolutionary process through time and space. These complex histories, such as range expansions and population bottlenecks, can lead to non-equilibrium scenarios where the fate of both beneficial and deleterious mutations can be influenced more by drift than selection. I aim to understand whether and how this impacts genetic diversity of populations as they adapt to new environments, and if this can lead to false inferences of loci under selection.
I address these questions through both simulation and comparison to genomic data, to uncover the disparities that arise between ideal controlled situations and complicated, real-world biological scenarios. I also have previous and ongoing work on the topics of Qst-Fst analyses, estimation of effective population size, local adaptation in lodgepole pine, and the impact of mating systems on the estimation of the distribution of fitness effects for new mutations (DFE). You can find my full CV and more information on my website here.

Short Resume

  • 2017 - 2019: EMBO Long-term Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute of Ecology and Evolution, University of Bern, Switzerland
  • 2016 - 2017: EEB Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Toronto, with Aneil Agrawal and Stephen Wright
  • 2011 - 2016: PhD in Zoology from University of British Columbia, with Michael Whitlock
  • 2006 - 2010: BSc in Biology from University of Virginia

Selected publications

Journal articles

  • Gilbert K, Sharp NP, Angert AL, Conte GL, Draghi JA, Guillaume F, Hargreaves AL, Matthey-Doret R & Whitlock MC (2017) Local adaptation interacts with expansion load during range expansion: Maladaptation reduces expansion load. The American Naturalist 189(4) [Abstract and pdf]
  • Gilbert K & Whitlock MC (2017) The genetics of adaptation to discrete heterogeneous environments: Frequent mutation or large effect alleles can allow range expansion. Journal of Evolutionary Biology [Abstract and pdf]
  • Gilbert K & Whitlock MC (2015) Evaluating methods for estimating local effective population size with and without migration. Evolution 68: 2154-2166 [Abstract and pdf]
  • Gilbert K, Andrew RL, Bock DG, Franklin MT, Kane NC, Moore J-S, Moyers BT, Renaut S, Rennison DJ, Veen T & Vines TH (2012) Recommendations for utilizing and reporting population genetic analyses: The reproducibility of genetic clustering using the program STRUCTURE. Molecular Ecology 21: 4925-4930 [Abstract and pdf]