Life Sciences Seminar: Genetic causes and population consequences of behavioral and life history evolution
Life Sciences Seminar
Genetic causes and population consequences of behavioral and life history evolution
Erik Dopman, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Tufts University
While most biologists agree that multiple reproductive barriers are required for new species to form, empirical studies often emphasize single barriers to interbreeding such as hybrid sterility. In my talk I will describe how the two main reproductive barriers seen in the European corn borer moth (Ostrinia nubilalis), temporal and behavioral isolation, are a byproduct of only four genes. Genome-wide comparisons of populations differing in behavior, timing, or both suggest that barrier coincidence leads to levels of genomic differentiation that far exceed those of single barriers acting alone, arguing that ‘coupling’ of distinct barriers promotes independent evolution of populations and progress towards complete speciation.
A fundamental problem for biology is to understand organismal diversity. Ernst Mayr wrote that two distinct disciplines provide a conceptual framework for tackling this issue: functional biology and evolutionary biology. Mayr argued that while the functional biologist might be interested in how genetic and phenotypic variation arises, the evolutionary biologist is preoccupied by why it occurs in the first place. That is, in the factors promoting and maintaining variation. The Dopman lab applies a unified framework and seeks both functional and evolutionary explanations for diversity in nature. Our studies draw on approaches from numerous disciplines (ecology, genomics, physiology, molecular genetics), often in the context of adaptive evolution and the origin of species.
Beginners, undergraduates, graduates. Those with interest in the topic.
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When and Where
Open to the Public