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IB Seminar-Dr. Lacey Knowles, University of Michigan
Monday, October 02, 2017, 03:00pm - 04:00pm

TITLE: "Species Divergence Shaped by the Intersects of Ecology and Climate Change"

HOST: David Cannatella


Abstract. — Most species we study today have been subject to periods of rapid climate change of differing severity at some point in their past. The impact of rapid climate change, and specifically, its genetic consequences have been studied at large geographic scales (e.g., comparisons between low and high latitudes). In contrast, we have a limited understanding of the genetic consequences of rapid climate change for taxa within local communities beyond simply describing patterns of genetic variation within and between populations. Yet, such information about how climate change impacts species divergence is essential for understanding why patterns of genetic variation differs across a landscape and varies among species.

With the application of recent developments at the molecular level, as well as computational advances, what is emerging is a story of how patterns of genetic variation are shaped by an intersection of species ecology and climate change. I will review the methodologies that are propelling this promising area of research through the testing of hypotheses that accommodate differences in species-specific ecologies. By reference to two examples – results from an analysis of endemic beetles across the Greek islands to test the role of sea-level change as a driver of divergence, and test of how microhabitat differences mediate the impact of climate change in montane sedges from the Southern Rocky Mountains – I discuss how these insights are useful for understanding not only how the divergence process may differ among geographic regions, but also why members of communities may respond differently to climate change.

Location: MBB 1.210

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