We focus on the development of a single tissue, the germline, in the model organism C. elegans. This small nematode provides two key advantages: an excellent genetic system for understanding how cell fate is specified, and a completely sequenced and well-annotated genome. We use functional genomics tools to dissect the molecular mechanisms governing germ cell maintenance and differentiation in the model organism C. elegans. Conserved regulatory pathways, such as the Notch, Ras, and Retinoblastoma pathways, act to control proliferation and differentiation in these cells. The developing C. elegans germline requires tight spatial and temporal control of gene activity for proper formation. Epigenetic control of gene expression plays an important role in governing germ cell fate through the post-translational modification of histones and by RNAi-mediated post-transcriptional control. Projects in the lab investigate the mechanisms controlling germ cell specification in the early embryo, as well as the regulatory hierarchy controlling germline stem cells before and after differentiation into functional gametes.