OEB Seminar Series


Thursday, April 11, 2019, 3:30pm


Biological Labs Lecture Hall, Room 1080, 16 Divinity Avenue

Becca SafranBecca Safran
Associate Professor, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
The University of Colorado

"The Role of Adaptation in Phenotype Divergence and Speciation: An Integrative and Comparative Perspective"

Abstract: Evolutionary mechanisms lead to changes in the phenotypic and genomic features of populations; population genetics and patterns of phenotype differentiation are often used to infer which of these mechanisms are at work. Here, I highlight the need to more directly study the underlying processes and mechanistic basis of population-level patterns. Barn swallows (Hirundo rustica) are widespread throughout their northern hemisphere-wide breeding distribution with fascinating levels of morphological and behavioral divergence among six closely related populations. My lab studies the role of evolutionary mechanisms in shaping phenotype and genomic variation among populations in this young species complex. Experiments and selection studies within populations predict population-level differences in signaling traits and migratory behavior. Analyses within hybrid zones also reveal that differences in both signal and migratory traits are predictive of gene flow and the evolution of reproductive isolation among sub-species in secondary contact.

See also: OEB Seminars