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Graduate Student, MCO

Faisal AlZaben

Graduate Student, MCO

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About Me

I am an evolutionary geneticist interested in the adaptation of complex traits, natural variation, and evolutionary novelty. I grew up across the Atlantic in Kuwait and then moved to California, where I studied genetics at UC Berkeley. There, I worked in genetics labs–the Brem and Whiteman labs–where I studied trait variation between species. In the Brem lab, I focused on the genetic basis of an interspecific difference in thermotolerance in different yeast species and found that this difference is underlied by a suite of essential genes. In the Whiteman lab, I investigated bill shape variation in the broad-tailed hummingbird and assisted on a project to understand the process of speciation in a spikedace minnow population. In general, I am interested in adaptation, hybridization, and speciation, and the evolutionary mechanisms and dynamics that drive these phenomena in general. I am interested in evolutionary and systems biology, especially population genetics and molecular evolution over long time scales. I am looking forward to delving deeper into the breadth of topics that MCO offers.


I love to write, read, and teach topics inside or outside of science! And I love cooking, too…and sometimes chess. Social causes are very important to me and I believe paramount to consider as scientists. So feel free to talk to me about literally anything or exchange recipes