March 23 2019

IoES: 2019 Conservation Genomics Workshop

UCLA La Kretz Center for California Conservation Science
March 23rd to March 27th, 2019

This annual workshop provides a comfortable, informal training environment for a small group of 20 motivated graduate students to explore how conservation problems can best be addressed with genomic-level data. Our goal is to provide hands-on experience in the efficient collection, troubleshooting, and analysis of large, genome-level data sets for conservation-relevant problems. We focus specifically on non-model systems, and how we can best study and protect endangered taxa with genomic approaches. One of the highlights of our workshop is active participation from members of several US and California governmental agencies who use actual genetic data in endangered species protection and management, providing a forum for exploring the most relevant aspects of conservation genomics to managers.

Course Highlights:
Genomics of non-model systems, and the applications of those data to applied conservation, change daily. RADseq, target capture, and whole-genome resequencing all have their place, and all provide technical and analytical challenges that we explore with hands-on tutorials. Equally important, we discuss how to make your analyses accessible and relevant to applied conservation scientists and administrators. We do this by inviting state and federal agency managers to discuss the ways in which they see genomics shaping conservation decision-making now and in the future. These interactions are foundational to our workshop, and provide insights into partnerships that achieve our primary goal: genomic science that helps conservation decision-makers.


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April 1 2019

UCLA BEC: Ecological dynamics of sexually transmitted infections among Namibian pastoralists

Haines Hall 352
12:00 to 1:30PM

Ashley Hazel, Stanford University

Populations that are dependent upon physical environments for their immediate livelihoods utilize subsistence strategies that are both well adapted to predictable environmental variability (e.g., seasonality) and resilient to unpredictable shocks (e.g., drought). Livelihood strategies that entail high degrees of mobility typically have temporal and spatial heterogeneities in social contact, which influences infection dynamics for pathogens that require prolonged or repeated contact for transmission, such as sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or tuberculosis. In this talk, I present my work on the epidemiology of two STIs—HSV2 and gonorrhea—among a group of semi-nomadic pastoralists in Kaokoveld Namibia, where sexual-partner concurrency functions not just as an STI risk factor but, crucially, as an ecological strategy. I find that extreme geographical remoteness is associated with a higher HSV2 (viral) transmission rate. In contrast, ephemeral population density and social aggregation are associated with higher gonorrhea (bacterial) prevalence. Furthermore, both predictable and unpredictable climate variation influenced sexual-networks, which has important implications for the impending effects of climate change.

April 15 2019

BEC: How interactions among multiple stressors affect the ecological and evolutionary trajectories of populations

Haines Hall 352
12:00 to 1:30PM

Pamela Yeh, UCLA

All natural populations deal with multiple stressors. Yet there is limited understanding of how populations are impacted by higher-order interactions — more than two stressors. In this talk I will explain my new conceptual and experimental work to examine higher-order interactions among antibiotics in bacterial populations. I will also present recent work from my group that shows bacteria likely co-opted ancient stress response mechanisms to extreme temperatures in order to deal with more recent antibiotic stresses. This co-opting avoids the need for de novo evolution of response mechanisms to antibiotics.

April 22 2019

BEC: Molecular Neotropical Primatology: Titi Monkey Evolution

Haines Hall 352
12:00 to 1:30PM

Hazel Byrne, UCLA

Neotropical primates are a diverse clade of primates that inhabit South and Central America. Broadly speaking, in comparison to "Old World" primates originating in Africa and Asia, most Neotropical primates are strikingly understudied with many outstanding questions regarding their evolution. Among the least studied and appreciated groups are the monogamous pair-bonding titi monkeys (subfamily Callicebinae), yet titis are also among the most species rich primate radiations with over 30 species recognised. Prior to 2016, the only phylogeny focusing on titi monkeys was derived from morphological characters in the 1990's, and owing to their morphological conservatism, the depth of diversity found in this clade was highly underestimated. The long-term assumption that titis represented a group of extremely similar primates impacted how we have studied them (i.e., existing research is based on a few “representative” species). This talk explores the insight gained into the evolutionary history of these enigmatic primates through molecular phylogenetic studies within the past three years. These studies have revealed deeply divergent titi lineages dating to the Miocene, uncovered a complex evolutionary history, and highlighted the consequences of previous assumptions for our already limited understanding of callicebine biology.

June 8 2019

IoES: California Climate Expedition

The UCLA IoES Center for Climate Science is pleased to announce we’re partnering with OnePulse to bring you the California Climate Expedition: a first-of-its-kind cycling tour and educational experience.

Learn more about the event here.