Photo credits:
Mikael Wallerstedt

Jennifer James

Natural Sciences Fellow, SCAS.
Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Uppsala University

Jennifer James completed her PhD at the University of Sussex in the UK in 2018. She subsequently
completed a short postdoctoral stay at the University of Cambridge, before setting off for the USA
at the start of 2019. She worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Arizona, based in
the city of Tucson. Since the summer of 2021, she has been based in Sweden, working at the Depart-
ment of Ecology and Genetics at Uppsala University as a postdoctoral fellow, funded by the Wenner-
Gren Foundation.

Jennifer James’ research focuses on population genetics and molecular evolution, and she has publish-
ed broadly in this area in a number of high-profile journals, including MBE and PLoS Biology. One
particular focus of her research is on understanding the effects that new mutations have on phenotypes
and fitness, and how life history affects the evolution of these traits, such as in her article ‘DNA sequence
diversity and the efficiency of natural selection in animal mitochondrial DNA’ (Heredity, 2017). James
also explores evolutionary trends in protein evolution, publishing several articles in this area, including
‘Universal and taxon-specific trends in protein sequences as a function of age’ (eLife, 2021), which
demonstrates how ancient events can have lasting effects on molecular properties.

While at SCAS, Jennifer James will be working on a research project that examines how the fitness
effects of new mutations vary with features of genome biology. She will also explore how differences
in the fitness effects of new mutations might evolve, by comparing genomes within all-polyploid species,
that is, species that were formed by hybridisation of two parental species.

This information is accurate as of the academic year 2023-24.