Sarah Otto

University of British Columbia

Department of Zoology
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The motivating aim of my research is to understand how evolutionary processes have generated the wondrous diversity of biological features observed in the natural world. Why is it that some species reproduce asexually, while most reproduce sexually? Why do some organisms have large genomes while closely related species have small ones? Why do some species choose to mate with very similar partners, while others avoid them? These are some of the fundamental questions that my research has aimed to resolve, using a combination of mathematical theory, statistical inference, and evolutionary experiments.


20- The phoenix hypothesis of speciation
Journal Article
Yamaguchi R , Wiley B , Otto S P ,
2022 Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences (Date Added: 2022-11-27)

19- The best of both worlds: Combining population genetic and quantitative genetic models
Journal Article
Dekens L , Otto S , Calvez V ,
2022 Theoretical Population Biology (Date Added: 2022-11-21)

18- Unbalanced selection: The challenge of maintaining a social polymorphism when a supergene is selfish
Journal Article
Tafreshi A G , Otto S P , Chapuisat M ,
2022 Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences (Date Added: 2022-07-12)

17- Parental Population Range Expansion before Secondary Contact Promotes Heterosis
Journal Article
MacPherson A , Wang S , Yamaguchi R , Rieseberg L H , Otto S P ,
2022 American Naturalist (Date Added: 2022-06-08)

16- Savannas are vital but overlooked carbon sinks
Journal Article
Dobson A , Hopcraft G , Mduma S , Ogutu J O , Fryxell J , Anderson T M , Archibald S , Lehmann C , Poole J , Caro T , Mulder M B , Holt R D , Berger J , Rubenstein D I , Kahumbu P , Chidumayo E N , Milner-Gulland E J , Schluter D , Otto S , Balmford A , Wilcove D , Pimm S , Veldma J , Olff H , Noss R , Holdo R , Beale C , Hempson G , Kiwango Y , Lindenmayer D , Bond W , Ritchie M , Sinclair A R E ,
2022 Science (Date Added: 2022-03-20)

15- Fixation and effective size in a haploid–diploid population with asexual reproduction
Journal Article
Bessho K , Otto S P ,
2022 Theoretical Population Biology (Date Added: 2022-01-04)

14- Fundamental limitations of contact tracing for COVID-19
Journal Article
Tupper P , Otto S P , Colijn C ,
2021 Facets (Date Added: 2022-03-20)

13- The virus evolves: Four public health priorities for reducing the evolutionary potential of SARS-CoV-2
Journal Article
Fitzpatrick C L , Alter S E , Boughman J W , Débarre F , Edmands S , Moehring A , Moyle L , Otto S P , Ronce O , Rubin M J , Sweigart A L ,
2021 BioScience (Date Added: 2022-03-20)

12- An empiricist’s guide to using ecological theory
Journal Article
Grainger T N , Senthilnathan A , Ke P , Barbour M A , Jones N T , DeLong J P , Otto S P , O’Connor M I , Coblentz K E , Goel N , Sakarchi J , Szojka M C , Levine J M , Germain R M ,
2021 American Naturalist (Date Added: 2021-12-12)

11- The origins and potential future of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern in the evolving COVID-19 pandemic
Journal Article
Otto S P , Day T , Arino J , Colijn C , Dushoff J , Li M , Mechai S , Van Domselaar G , Wu J , Earn D J , Ogden N H ,
2021 Current Biology (Date Added: 2021-11-05)

10- Evolution of plasticity in production and transgenerational inheritance of small RNAs under dynamic environmental conditions
Journal Article
Silva W T A F , Otto S P , Immler S ,
2021 PLoS Genetics (Date Added: 2021-11-05)

9- Feedback between coevolution and epidemiology can help or hinder the maintenance of genetic variation in host-parasite models
Journal Article
MacPherson A , Keeling M J , Otto S P ,
2021 Evolution (Date Added: 2021-11-05)

8- Selective Interference and the Evolution of Sex
Journal Article
Otto S P ,
2021 The Journal of heredity (Date Added: 2021-11-05)

7- Coevolution fails to maintain genetic variation in a host–parasite model with constant finite population size
Journal Article
MacPherson A , Keeling M J , Otto S P ,
2021 Theoretical Population Biology (Date Added: 2021-11-05)

6- On the Origin of Coexisting Species
Journal Article
Germain R M , Hart S P , Turcotte M M , Otto S P , Sakarchi J , Rolland J , Usui T , Angert A L , Schluter D , Bassar R D , Waters M T , Henao-Diaz F , Siepielski A M ,
2021 Trends in Ecology and Evolution (Date Added: 2021-11-05)

5- On the evolutionary epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2
Journal Article
Day T , Gandon S , Lion S , Otto S P ,
2020 Current Biology (Date Added: 2021-11-05)

4- Relative genomic impacts of translocation history, hatchery practices, and farm selection in Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas throughout the Northern Hemisphere
Journal Article
Sutherland B J G , Rycroft C , Ferchaud A , Saunders R , Li L , Liu S , Chan A M , Otto S P , Suttle C A , Miller K M ,
2020 Evolutionary Applications (Date Added: 2021-11-05)

3- Genetic paths to evolutionary rescue and the distribution of fitness effects along them
Journal Article
Osmond M M , Otto S P , Martin G ,
2020 Genetics (Date Added: 2021-11-05)

2- Theory in service of narratives in evolution and ecology
Journal Article
Otto S P , Rosales A ,
2020 American Naturalist (Date Added: 2021-11-05)

1- TRY plant trait database – enhanced coverage and open access
Journal Article
2020 Global Change Biology (Date Added: 2020-11-30)