Tuesday 24 January 2017

Biosciences Seminar Speaker 26 January 2017

Biosciences Seminar Series - Winter 2017
26 January 2017 - 1pm - Zoology Museum

Microevolution in Pacific island white-eyes

Dr Sonya Clegg

Our seminar series continues for the winter term with a talk by Dr Sonya Clegg from the Zoology Department at the University of Oxford. Sonya is a Lecturer in Evolutionary Ecology interested in understanding the evolutionary processes that promote divergence in wild vertebrate systems. Specifically, her work clusters around three major lines of research. Using avian systems in the South Pacific region(New Caledonia, Vanuatu) Sonya investigates the processes that both promote and inhibit the generation of biodiversity. To understand the nature of phenotypic evolution, she quantifies the temporal dynamics of natural selection in an individually colour-ringed population of silvereyes (Zosterops lateralis chlorocephalus) in Heron Island on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Finally, Sonya investigates the dynamics of genomic divergence in island colonizing birds using members of the Zosteropidae family in Pacific Islands as study system.

Clegg & Phillimore 2010
Biologists have a good understanding of the evolutionary processes required to generate divergence between populations. But why do some populations diverge rapidly from one another, while others do not?  White-eyes are excellent island colonisers and one of the 'great speciators', with numerous forms at different stages of divergence across the south-west Pacific region. In this talk I describe the patterns observed across island populations, along with my work identifying the relative roles of selection and drift in generating these patterns. I conclude by giving a summary of ongoing work and future plans investigating why a species that is a great disperser can rapidly lose dispersal ability once a new island is colonised, and how divergence in the presence and absence of gene flow may generate different genomic signatures.

Hope to see many of you - everyone most welcome to attend!

For the list of forthcoming seminars, see here, and here

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