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POPBIO SEMINAR - Jason Sardell
Thursday, October 13, 2016, 02:00pm - 03:00pm
Contact schaffer@austin.utexas.edu

TITLE: "Evolutionary consequences of recent secondary contact between island birds"

Location: NHB 1.720
Secondary contact has important consequences for the evolution of biodiversity, yet few examples of recent natural secondary contact have been studied, leaving much unknown about this key stage of the speciation process. In this seminar I will discuss an integrative study of two species of birds (Myzomela cardinalis and M. tristrami) that achieved secondary contact around the turn of the 20th-century. Genetic sequencing revealed patterns of asymmetric hybridization and introgression which provide insight into reproductive isolation. Behavioral experiments demonstrated that secondary contact has driven unusual patterns of biased aggression toward heterospecifics, and identify a potential adaptive role for signal introgression in this system. Similarly, rapid asymmetric character displacement in body size followed secondary contact, likely as a consequence of interference competition. Finally, a neo-sex chromosome is strongly associated with speciation and plumage divergence in Myzomela, supporting theories that genomic sex-linkage facilitates evolution of secondary sexual traits and speciation. Together, these findings provide novel insights into the processes by which phenotypic divergence evolves and is maintained in natural populations following secondary contact.

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