E. Dale Broder
Speaker's Institution
4:00 PM
Anatomy/Zoology Building W118
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We can use model systems to increase our understanding of the way that genes and the environment interact to shape phenotypes. The Trinidadian guppy is a small freshwater fish that exhibits phenotypic plasticity as well as rapid evolution in response to changes in the environment, namely changes in the predator community. We utilized experimental introductions and common garden experiments to investigate plasticity and evolution of cerebral laterality, genitalia, and mating behavior in guppies. This model system can also be used as an educational tool. We created a hands-on inquiry program with live guppy experiments to teach evolution to middle and high school students. Our work with guppies has documented patterns of evolution and plasticity in new environments, while also teaching important concepts to K-12 students.