May 3 2011

12:00 154 BSRB

Ecolunch Series

Graduate Student Presentations


Adrea Gonzalez-Karlsson
Dept of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, UCLA

"Chemical Communication in Ithomiine Butterflies"

Ithomiine butterflies are an example of extensive Mullerian mimicry. Uniquely among butterflies, ithomiines form large, multispecies aggregations. Ithomiines must communicate interspecifically to locate aggregations and intraspecifically to find conspecifics within aggregations, but how they do this is unknown. How are multispecies aggregations formed and how do ithomiines communicate interspecifically vs. intraspecifically? How do ithomiines locate conspecifics within the complex sensory environment of the aggregation? Ithomiine males sequester chemical defenses, pyrrolizidine alkaloids, as adults from plant sources and females acquire these defense compounds from the male during mating. The defense compounds also serve as precursors for pheromone production. Is chemical communication important in mate choice? How does perception and preference mediate acquisition of pyrrolizidine alkaloids? My talk will address my preliminary research with ithomiines in Costa Rica and my future research.

Rita Rachmawati
Dept of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, UCLA

"Differential response of Indonesian corals to bleaching events associated with global warming"

Coral bleaching is one of the direct severe impacts of global warming on marine ecosystems. Symbiodinium, which are symbiont of corals, play an important role in responding to the elevated temperature. As the most diverse coral communities in the world, Indonesia is vulnerable to mass coral bleaching, but interestingly different regions showed different responses to increased temperature. The objective of this study is to analyze the characteristics of coral-endosymbiont symbiosis in response to elevated temperature in Indonesian waters. I will do both Symbiodinium and coral host genotyping as well as gene expression analysis on samples taken from regions with different bleaching level and from some experiments.















































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































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