February 21 2019

12:00 Hershey Hall 158

This seminar is sponsored by Division of Life Sciences

Gil Rosenthal
Department of Biology, Texas A&M University

Mate Choice and Its Consequences


Mate choice is a key determinant of individual fitness, and influences whether species diverge or fuse together. My research group, at the interface of animal behavior and evolutionary genomics, focuses on the central role of mate choice in modulating genetic exchange between lineages. Our core model system is a naturally hybridizing complex of swordtail fish \(genus Xiphophorus\) in the Sierra Madre Oriental of central Mexico. We have developed novel genomic resources, analytical tools, and the CICHAZ field station to combine experimental analyses of behavior with large-scale, long-term evolutionary-genetic studies of both wild and artificial populations. This model encourages graduate students to develop their own, synergistic research programs and is integrated with a longitudinal approach to outreach and mentoring in the US and Mexico. Graduate and undergraduate students work with local stakeholders to sponsor STEM summer camps and science counselor training for middle- to high-school students, some of whom have now gone on to become university researchers and mentors themselves. Ongoing projects in the lab seek to understand the macroevolutionary drivers of persistent hybridization between lineages\; the role of mate choice in hybrid zone evolution\; and the mechanisms whereby social learning and personality shape mating decisions and therefore their evolutionary consequences.

























































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































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