John Pool

Credentials: Genetics

Position title: Professor


Website: Pool Lab

Phone: 608-265-1036

2434 Genetics-Biotechnology Center

John Pool


PhD (2006), Cornell University
Postdoctoral research (2006-2011): U. Copenhagen, UC Berkeley, UC Davis

Representative Awards

  • UW-Madison Vilas Faculty Mid-Career/Early Career Investigator Award (2019)


The Pool Lab investigates how populations respond to natural selection at the genetic level. Research leverages the global diversity of the genetics model organism Drosophila melanogaster, and fuses large-scale fly experiments with the development of novel statistical methods for analyzing evolutionary genomic data. Recent findings include (1) New insights into the human-commensal origin and worldwide expansion of this widely-studied species, (2) Consistent support for a model of polygenic adaptation in which favored variants do not become fixed, and (3) Hybrid breakdown in male reproduction between D. melanogaster populations from Africa and Europe, with ongoing efforts to genetically map the causative incompatibilities.

Our contributions to genomics analysis methods and data resources include (1) New population genetic statistics, especially for detecting adaptation to local environments, (2) A simulation-driven inference pipeline for genetic mapping experiments that use ‘bulk segregant analysis’, and (3) The Drosophila Genome Nexus, a widely used collection of more than 1,000 consistently assembled D. melanogaster genomes.

Representative Publications  (Google Scholar | PUBMED)

  • Huang Y, Lack JB, Hoppel GT, Pool JE. Parallel and population-specific gene regulatory evolution in cold-adapted fly populations. Genetics, 218:iyab077 (2021).
  • Sprengelmeyer QS, Mansourian S, Lange JD, Matute DR, Cooper BS, Jirle EV, Stensmyr MC, Pool JE. Recurrent collection of Drosophila melanogaster from wild African environments and genomic insights into species history. Mol Biol Evol, 37:627-638 (2020).
  • Lack JB, Lange JD, Tang AD, Corbett-Detig RB, Pool JE. A thousand fly genomes: an expanded Drosophila Genome Nexus. Mol Biol Evol 33:3308-3313 (2016).
  • Pool JE. Genetic mapping by bulk segregant analysis in Drosophila: experimental design and simulation-based inference. Genetics 204:1295-1306 (2016).