April 25 2013

5:00 pm BSRB 154

EcoEvoPub Series

Graduate Student Presentations


Allison Fritts-Penniman
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

"Genetic Signatures of Ecological Speciation in a Coral-Associated Nudibranch"

In marine environments, there are insufficient geographic barriers to attribute the great diversity of species to allopatric speciation. Coral reefs provide many opportunities for diversification through ecological niche specialization. Previous work on Phestilla nudibranchs suggests that speciation may occur as a result of switching to new coral hosts within the same geographic range. I am examining how geography and coral host influence genetic divergence, both among and within Phestilla species. Preliminary phylogenetic results reveal potential cryptic species and ongoing divergence associated with coral host species. The development of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers is underway for the detection of host-driven adaptive genomic divergence. This technique may identify ecological speciation in the process and indicate which regions of the genome contribute to this process.

Jonathan Chang
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

"Examining Morphological Correlates of Extinction Risk
in Ray-Finned Fishes Using Crowdsourced Data"

Human exploitation of ray-finned fishes is both widespread and well documented, but the relationship between exploitation and morphology, specifically body shape, has not been thoroughly examined. Here I propose to gather shape data across the fish tree of life using a novel crowdsourcing method based on Amazon Mechanical Turk. This dataset will allow me to test whether species with certain body shapes are more or less vulnerable to overfishing, as well as estimate the potential loss of phenotypic diversity from extinction of at-risk groups.

THURSDAY, April 25, 2013















































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































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