Research in the Baiz Lab is focused on understanding the evolutionary processes that underlie the formation of new species. We use natural hybrid zones and young species radiations to address questions like, what mechanisms maintain reproductive isolation between taxa? What traits help divergent populations adapt to their environment? How do symbiotic communities respond to evolutionary divergence of their hosts? Hybridization allows unique traits and mutations to become shuffled, allowing us to associate specific gene regions with phenotypes of interest. Our lab uses genomic techniques to identify regions of the genome that underlie the speciation process and to study the role of the host-associated microbiomes in diversification.