Susan E. Lott

Susan Lott

Position Title
Assistant Professor

Department of Evolution and Ecology, College of Biological Sciences
Center for Population Biology

3208 Storer Hall

Research Interests

Evolution of development

Our research focuses on how genetic variation in translated through the developmental process into phenotypes, and how these phenotypes evolve. The importance of sequence changes that affect development to morphological evolution has been well established. But the phenotypic consequences of mutations that alter developmental regulators are often muted by the systems that buffer development against variation encountered in ontogeny. By studying the relationship between mutation and developmental phenotype, we gain insight into both the molecular forces that drive and constrain phenotypic evolution and the systems that keep development robust. To pursue these questions, we use a combination of genetic, genomic, computational, and imaging techniques, primarily in the model system of Drosophila.

Grad Group Affiliations

  • Biochemistry, Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology
  • Integrative Genetics and Genomics
  • Population Biology

Specialties / Focus

  • Animal Genomics
  • Computational Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Developmental Genetics
  • Gene Regulation
  • Genomics, Proteomics and Metabolomics
  • Integrated Genetics and Genomics
  • Quantitative and Population Genetics


  • Lott Lab


  • 2008 Ph.D. Genetics University of Chicago
  • 2000 B.A. Liberal Arts Sarah Lawrence College


Atallah J, Lott SE. (2018) Evolution of maternal and zygotic mRNA complements in the early Drosophila embryo. PLOS Genetics. Dec 17;14(12):e1007838.

Crofton AE, Cartwright EL, Feitzinger AA, Lott SE. (2018) Effect of Larval Nutrition on Maternal mRNA Contribution to the Drosophila Egg. G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics. May 31;8(6):1933-1941.

Paris M, Villalta JE, Eisen MB, Lott SE. (2015) Sex Bias and Maternal Contribution to Gene Expression Divergence in Drosophila Blastoderm Embryos. PLoS Genetics. 11(10):e1005592.

Lott SE, Villalta JE, Zhou Q, Bachtrog D, Eisen MB. (2014) Sex-specific embryonic gene expression in species with newly evolved sex chromosomes. PLoS Genet 10(2): e1004159.

Paris M, Kaplan T, Li X.-Y, Villalta J.E, Lott SE, Eisen MB (2013) Extensive divergence of transcription factor binding in Drosophila embryos with highly conserved gene expression. PLoS Genetics. 9(9):e1003748.

Ali-Murthy Z, Lott SE, Eisen MB, Kornberg TB. (2013) An Essential Role for Zygotic Expression in the Pre-Cellular Drosophila Embryo. PLoS Genetics. 9(4): e1003428.

Lott SE, Viallalta JE, Schroth GP, Luo S, Tonkin LA, Eisen MB. (2011) Non-canonical compensation of zygotic X transcription in early Drosophila melanogaster development revealed through single-embryo RNA-seq. PLoS Biology 9(2): e1000590.

Lott SE, Ludwig MZ, Kreitman M. (2011) Evolution and genetic analysis of early embryonic patterning in D. simulans and D. sechellia. Evolution. May;65(5):1388-99.

Miles CM, Lott SE, Luengo Hendriks CL, Ludwig MZ, Manu, Williams CL, Kreitman M. Artificial selection on egg size perturbs early pattern formation in Drosophila melanogaster. (2010) Evolution. Jan;65(1):33-42.

Lott S.E., Kreitman M, Palsson A, Alekseeva E, Ludwig MZ. Canalization of segmentation and its evolution in Drosophila. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007 Jun 26;104(26):10926-31.