Seminar Archives

Upcoming Seminars

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Dr. Christopher Voigt Presents: Programming Cells: Genetic Circuit Design Automation

Tuesday April 3rd, 2018 at 4:00 PM in Biology Auditorium 136

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Dr. Matt Hahn Presents: Adaptation and speciation in Anopheles mosquitoes: a virtuous cycle

Tuesday April 24th, 2018 at 4:00 PM in Biology Auditorium 136

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Alisha Shah Presents: PhD Defense Seminar

Wednesday May 2nd, 2018 at 4:00 PM in Biology Auditorium 136

Past Seminars

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Dr. Tim Sharbel Presents: Apomixis: an evolutionary conundrum and disruptive agricultural technology

Tuesday March 20th, 2018 at 4:00 PM in Biology Auditorium 136

An organism’s choice to reproduce with or without sex has long puzzled evolutionary biologists. Apomixis, a natural form of reproduction in plants whereby seeds are produced asexually, has evolved repeatedly from sexual ancestors in many taxa.  Apomixis is of interest on a number of levels, ranging from population genetics to evolution, but also from an […]

Dr. Ryan Earley Presents: Sex, death, acrobatics and combat: Capitalizing on the weird biology of an amphibious fish

Tuesday February 20th, 2018 at 4:00 PM in Biology Auditorium 136

Deep in the mangroves of Florida, the Caribbean and Central America, there’s a fish that defies all odds and exhibits some truly remarkable characteristics. Mangrove rivulus fish live in some of the nastiest conditions on Earth and can tolerate dramatic fluctuations in oxygen levels, salinity, temperature, and water availability, as well as infiltration of pollutants […]

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Dr. Krushnamegh Kunte Presents: Evolutionary Assembly and Ecological Dynamics of Butterfly Mimicry Rings

Tuesday January 30th, 2018 at 4:00 PM in Biology Auditorium 136

The hallmark of life on earth is morphological diversity, which is represented in the spectacular sexually dimorphic and polymorphic wing patterns of butterflies. I will address the evolutionary patterns and ecological processes that govern diversification in well-defined mimetic communities called mimicry rings. I will show how phylogenetic conservatism and convergence shape the evolutionary dynamics of […]

Professor Hugh Possingham Presents: When is data and science useful in nature conservation?

Tuesday January 16th, 2018 at 4:00 PM in Biology Auditorium 136

Dr. Harry J. Klee Presents: A Chemical Genetic Roadmap for Producing a Better Tasting Tomato

Monday November 13th, 2017 at 4:00 PM in Lory Student Center, Grey Rock Room

For far too long, the consumer has been left out of modern breeding programs. We are trying to change that paradigm by starting with the consumer, asking what they want, understanding the genetics controlling the traits that make a difference to them, and then getting those traits into commercial cultivars. Our model system is tomato, […]

Dr. Patricia E. Salerno Presents: From sky islands to continental islands: Using RADseq to elucidate genomic patterns of insular biodiversity

Wednesday November 8th, 2017 at 4:00 PM in Biology Auditorium 136

Biological diversity is not evenly distributed around the globe. Understanding the causes of high endemicity and diversity, as well as the maintenance of that diversity, is crucial for effective conservation management strategies. My main research line focuses on understanding aspects of history and geography that can shape the evolution and distribution of insular (isolated) lineages, both […]

Dr. Patricia Schulte Presents: The Role of Mitochondria in Plasticity and Adaptation to Environmental Change

Tuesday October 24th, 2017 at 4:00 PM in Biology Auditorium 136

Animals are profoundly dependent on aerobic ATP generation by mitochondria, and thus the functional properties of this key cellular organelle play an important role in determining organismal performance and fitness in the context of a changing environment. In addition, because of the endosymbiotic origin of the mitochondrion, any adjustments to mitochondrial function necessarily involve tight […]

Dr. Chris Funk Presents: Playing god with guppies: testing the effects of gene flow on adaptation, fitness, and population dynamics using a model experimental system

Wednesday October 18th, 2017 at 4:00 PM in Biology Auditorium 136

The consequence of gene flow for local adaptation and fitness is a fundamental, yet unresolved, problem in evolutionary ecology and conservation biology. On the one hand, gene flow may introduce maladaptive alleles into a population, thereby reducing fitness. On the other hand, gene flow can add genetic variation to small, inbred populations, increasing fitness through […]

Dr. Joe von Fischer Presents: Human and biological drivers of atmospheric greenhouse gas composition

Wednesday October 11th, 2017 at 4:00 PM in Biology Auditorium 136

Dr. Shane Kanatous Presents: The Physiology at the Extremes Lab: Current and Future Projects

Wednesday October 4th, 2017 at 4:00 PM in Biology Auditorium 136

Dr. Trevor Price Presents: What Determines the Gradient Bird Species Diversity Across the Himalayas?

Tuesday September 26th, 2017 at 4:00 PM in Biology Auditorium 136

WHAT DETERMINES THE GRADIENT IN BIRD SPECIES DIVERSITY ACROSS THE HIMALAYAS? Why are more species found in tropical than temperate regions? Explanations may be broadly divided into those rooted in history or in present day conditions. I describe our research on this issue, which uses birds of the Himalayas as a model system, and new […]

Dr. Alison Bell Presents: Tackling variation and plasticity in social behavior at the molecular level in sticklebacks

Tuesday September 12th, 2017 at 4:00 PM in Biology Auditorium 136

What does behavioral variation among individuals and behavioral plasticity look like at the molecular level? In this talk I will present two cases studies illustrating some of the complexities, nuances, and opportunities for studying variation and plasticity in behavior at the molecular level in threespined sticklebacks, a species famous for its behavioral repertoire and evolution. […]

Dr. Sonke Johnsen Presents: Hide and Seek in the Open Sea: Pelagic Camouflage and Visual Countermeasures

Tuesday September 5th, 2017 at 4:00 PM in Biology Auditorium 136

HIDE AND SEEK IN THE OPEN SEA: PELAGIC CAMOUFLAGE AND VISUAL COUNTERMEASURES Camouflage is exceptionally challenging in pelagic environments, due to their featureless nature. Thus, it is perhaps no surprise that pelagic species have evolved highly sophisticated cryptic strategies, three of which – transparency, mirrors, and counterillumination – are rare or absent in all other […]

Dr. Jeffrey Harvey Presents: Internet Blogs and Online Sources use Polar Bears and their Habitat as Keystone Dominoes for Denying Climate Change

Tuesday August 29th, 2017 at 4:00 PM in Biology Auditorium 136

Increasing surface temperatures, arctic sea ice loss, and other evidence of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) are acknowledged by every major scientific organization on Earth. However, there is a wide gap between the scientific consensus and public opinion. Internet blogs and online sources have strongly contributed to this consensus gap by fomenting misunderstandings of AGW causes and consequences. Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) have become a “poster species” for […]

Charlotte Alster Presents: PhD Seminar: Temperature Sensitivity as a Microbial Trait

Wednesday April 26th, 2017 at 4:00 PM in Yates 206

Reaction rates in biological systems are strongly controlled by temperature, yet the degree to which temperature sensitivity varies for different enzymes and microorganisms is being largely reformulated. The Arrhenius equation is the most commonly used model over the last century that predicts reaction rate response with temperature. However, the Arrhenius equation does not account for […]

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Ryan Miller Presents: PhD Seminar: Interaction among biological and social drivers of policy at the wildlife-agricultural interface

Wednesday April 12th, 2017 at 4:00 PM in Yates 206

Policy to address human-wildlife conflict is often controversial and developing policy to mitigate these conflicts is increasingly important and often driven by both societal and biological factors.  Yet the interaction between societal and biological drivers and the relative contribution of these to environmental policy remains understudied. Understanding these interactions requires both investigation of the latent […]

Dr. Zachary Cheviron Presents: Evolutionary Systems Biology of Adaptation to Environmental Stress: Insights from High-Altitude Deer Mice

Tuesday April 4th, 2017 at 4:00 PM in Anatomy/Zoology Building W118

Both phenotypic plasticity and genotypic specialization can contribute to differences in physiological performance in species that are locally adapted to different environments. However, their relative contributions are expected to vary with respect to the spatial and temporal grain of environmental variation. In species that are distributed across steep elevational gradients, environmental conditions change dramatically over […]

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