Mia Levine


Ph.D., University of California, Davis, 2009

Research Interests

Chromatin proteins package our genomic DNA. Essential, highly conserved cellular processes rely on this genome compartmentalization, yet many chromatin proteins are wildly unconserved over evolutionary time. We study the biological forces that drive chromatin protein evolution and the functional consequences for chromosome segregation, telomere integrity, and genome defense.  See the Levine Lab website for our ongoing research projects.

Courses Taught

BIOL 221 Molecular Biology and Genetics 

BIOL 433 The Genetics of Adaptation: How sex, pathogens, and the environment shape modern genomes

Selected Publications

Saint-Leandre, B., Nguyen, SB., and M.T. Levine (2019). Diversification and collapse of a telomere elongation mechanism. Genome Research. 29: 920-931.

Helleu, Q. and M.T. Levine (2018) Recurrent amplification of the Heterochromatin Protein 1 (HP1) gene family across Diptera. Molecular Biology and Evolution. 35: 2375-2389.

Lee, Y.C.G, and M.T. Levine (2017) Germline genome protection on an evolutionary treadmil. Developmental Cell 43:1-3. 

Lee, Y.C.G., Leek, C., and M.T. Levine (2017) Recurrent innovation at genes required for telomere integrity in Drosophila. Molecular Biology and Evolution. 34:467-482.

Levine, M.T., Vander Wende, H., Hseih, E., Baker, E., and H.S. Malik (2016) Recurrent gene duplication diversifies genome defense repertoire in Drosophila. Molecular Biology and Evolution 33:1641-1653.

Levine, M.T., Vander Wende, H., and H.S. Malik (2015) Mitotic fidelity requires transgenerational action of a testis-restricted HP1. eLife 4: e07378.

Levine, M.T. and H.S. Malik (2013) A rapidly evolving genomic toolkit of Drosophila heterochromatin. Fly 7: 137-141.

Levine, M.T., McCoy, C. Vermaak. D., Lee Y.C.G, Hiatt, M.A., Matsen, F.A., and H.S. Malik (2012) Phylogenomic analysis reveals dynamic evolutionary history of the Drosophila Heterochromatin Protein 1 (HP1) gene family.  PLoS Genetics 8(6): e1002729.

Moyle, L.C., Levine, M.T., Stanton, M.L. and J.W. Wright (2012) Hybrid sterility over tens of meters between ecotypes adapted to serpentine and non-serpentine soils. Evolutionary Biology 39: 207-218.

Levine, M.T., Eckert, M., and D.J. Begun (2011) Whole genome expression plasticity across tropical and temperate Drosophila melanogaster populations from eastern Australia. Molecular Biology and Evolution 28: 249–256. 

Levine, M.T. and D.J. Begun (2008) Evidence of spatially varying selection at four chromatin-remodeling loci in Drosophila melanogaster. Genetics 179: 455-473.

Turner, L.T., Levine, M.T., and D.J.Begun (2008) Genomic analysis of adaptive differentiation in Drosophila melanogaster. Genetics 179: 475-485.

Levine, M.T., Holloway, A.K., Arshad, U., and D.J. Begun (2007) Pervasive and largely lineage-specific adaptive protein evolution in the dosage compensation complex of Drosophila melanogaster. Genetics 177: 1959–1962.

Levine, M.T. and D.J. Begun (2007) Comparative Population Genetics of the Immunity Gene, Relish: Is Adaptive Evolution Idiosyncratic?  PLoS ONE 2(5): e442.

Levine, M.T., C. D. Jones, A. D. Kern, H. A. Lindfors, and D. J. Begun (2006) Novel genes derived from noncoding DNA in Drosophila melanogaster are frequently X-linked and exhibit testis-biased expression. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 103: 9935-9939.


Epigenetics Institute

Genome Integrity Group


CV (file)