H. Allen Orr

H. Orr
H. Allen Orr
Evolutionary Geneticist, University of Rochester

H. ALLEN ORR is an evolutionary geneticist at the University of Rochester, where holds the Shirley Cox Kearns Chair of Biology.

Most of his research focuses on the genetics of speciation and the genetics of adaptation. In particular, he is interested in the genetic basis of hybrid sterility and inviability, e.g., how many genes cause reproductive isolation between species? What are the normal functions of these genes and what evolutionary forces drove their divergence? He studies these problems through genetic analysis of reproductive isolation between species of Drosophila.

In his adaptation work, Dr. Orr is interested in theoretical rules or patterns that might characterize the population genetics of adaptation. He studies these patterns using both population genetic theory and experiment.

Orr received his Bachelor’s degree in Biology and Philosophy from the College of William and Mary and his Ph.D. in Biology from the University of Chicago. He performed postdoctoral research at the University of California, Davis.

His research focuses on population genetics, the genetics of speciation, and the genetics of adaptation. He is also a frequent book reviewer.

Orr has been the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a David and Lucile Packard Fellowship, an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship, and a Rockefeller Foundation Scholar in Residence Fellowship at Bellagio Study Center, Italy. He was awarded the Dobzhansky Prize by the Society for the Study of Evolution and the Young Investigator Prize by the American Society of Naturalists. He was also named Professor of the Year in Natural Sciences by the Student Association at University of Rochester in 2002.