Talk in APS on evolution of Japanese stickleback

Hello All,

A postdoctoral fellow who is visiting APS for the course next week will give a talk on Thursday about his work on the evolution of Japanese stickleback. He is also aiming to apply for a Marie Curie fellowship to work between Japan and my lab on this system.

Time: noon-1pm, Date: March 21st, Place: B52

title and abstract below, all are welcome, cheers,


Ecological speciation and adaptive radiation in Japanese sticklebacks

Mark Ravinet
Queen’s University Belfast, UK; National Institute of Genetics, Mishima Japan

When species colonize new environments, they often undergo remarkable
diversification, occupying unexploited niches and evolving remarkable
adaptive phenotypic variation. Adaptive radiations driven by divergent
natural selection between habitats can therefore play a major role in
the evolution of biodiversity. Yet why is it that some species are
more prone to adaptive radiation than others? Over the last 10 years,
the stickleback species complex has become an evolutionary
‘supermodel’ for the study of rapid phenotypic adaptation and
speciation. Two highly divergent Japanese stickleback species occur
across the Japanese archipelago. The Japan Sea and Pacific Ocean forms
are unique in that they are the only known example of an anadromous
species pair and furthermore they experience near-complete
reproductive isolation. Curiously, only one lineage, the Pacific
Ocean, is able to colonize freshwater and therefore diversify
phenotypically. The Japanese stickleback system therefore provides an
excellent opportunity to study the role that ecological divergence has
played in shaping both speciation and the extent of adaptive

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