sen xu
return to Lynch Lab main page

Sen Xu
senxu (at) indiana (dot) edu
(812) 856-0115

Ph.D., Environmental Science, University of Windsor, Canada, 2011

M.Sc., Evolutionary Biology, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 2005

B.Sc., Biology, Ocean University of China, China, 2003


For my postdoctoral research, I use Daphnia as a model system to explore why sex and recombination evolved. Daphnia typically reproduces via cyclical parthenogenetic reproduction (alternation of sexual and asexual reproduction), thus providing a nice contrast between sexual and asexual reproduction. I plan to use population genomic approach to study the genetic mechanisms and consequences of the transition into asexual reproduction. Furthermore, I am interested in estimating the population genetic parameters such as crossover rate, gene conversion rate, and effective population sizes using diploid whole-genome data.



Xu S, Innes DJ, Lynch M, and Cristescu ME. (2013) The role of hybridization in the origin and spread of asexuality in Daphnia. Molecular Ecology. 22:4549-4561.

Tucker AE, Ackerman MS, Eads BD, Xu S, and Lynch M (2013) Population-genomic insights into the evolutionary origin and fate of obligately asexual Daphnia pulex. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. In press

Ibarra-Laclette et al. (including Xu S) (2013) Architecture and evolution of a minute plant genome. Nature. 498, 94-98.

Altshuler I, Vaillant J, Xu S, Cristescu ME. (2012) The evolutionary history of Sarco(endo)plasmic Calcium ATPase (SERCA). Plos One 7: e52617.

Xu S, Schaack S, Seyfert A, Choi E, Lynch M, and Cristescu ME. (2012) High mutation rates in the mitochondrial genomes of Daphnia pulex. Molecular Biology and Evolution 29:763-769.

Altshuler I, Demiri B, Xu S, Constantin A, Yan ND, Cristescu ME. (2011) An integrated multi-disciplinary approach for studying multiple stressors in freshwater ecosystems: Daphnia as a model organism. Integrative and Comparative Biology 51:623-633.

Millette KJ*, Xu S, Witt JDS, Cristescu ME. (2011) Pleistocene-driven diversification in freshwater zooplankton: Refugial isolation, postglacial re-colonization, and cryptic speciation. Limonology and Oceanography 56: 1725-1736. *supervised undergraduate student

Xu S, Omilian AR, Cristescu ME. (2011) High rate of large-scale hemizygous deletions in asexually propagating Daphnia: implications for the evolution of sex. Molecular Biology and Evolution 28: 335-342.

Huang XN, Shi XL, Xu S, Liu GJ, Ma LM, Sun ZQ. (2011) Life history characteristics of Macrothrix rosea (Jurine, 1820) (Cladocera, Macrothricidae) in laboratory conditions. Journal of Limnology 70: 248-254.

Shi X, Xu S, Xue C, Huang X, Liu, G, Zhao Y. (2011) Discovery of males of Simocephalus himalayensis (Cladocera, Simocephalus), with the re-description of females. Chinese Journal of Oceanology and Limonology 29: 206-212.

Xu S, Hebert PDN, Kotov AA, Cristescu ME. (2009) The noncosmopolitanism paradigm of freshwater zooplankton: insights from the global phylogeography of the predatory cladoceran Polyphemus pediculus (Linnaeus, 1761)
(Crustacea, Onychopoda). Molecular Ecology 18: 5161-5179.

Roessingh P, Xu S, Menken SBJ. (2007) Olfactory receptors on the maxillary palps of small ermine moth larvae: evolutionary history of benzaldehyde sensitivity. Journal of Comparative Physiology A - Neuroethology Sensory Neural and Behavioral Physiology 193: 635-647.