Mon 05 Apr 2010: 4pm – Benoît Dayrat on the biodiversity and evolution of gastropods

“From Alpha-Taxonomy to Mitogenomics: Biodiversity and Evolution of Gastropods”

Benoît Dayrat
School of Natural Sciences,
University of California at Merced,
California, United States of America

Monday, 05 April 2010: 4.00pm
DBS Conference Room, Block S3 Level 5
See map: http://tinyurl.com/map-nusdbs

About the author – Benoît Dayrat is an assistant professor at the University of California at Merced. He received his MS at the Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris, France, and PhD at the University of Paris. His PhD focused on the Evolution and Systematics of gastropods.

Since his post-doctoral research (sea slug taxonomy), he has also been interested in the empirical and theoretical research in biodiversity and taxonomy. In March 2010, he published a 400-page long monograph on the taxonomy of discodorid nudibranch gastropods (sea slugs).

Benoît Dayrat also has authored several contributions in history of science including a book on the history of botany in France, “Les Botanistes Et La Flore De France – Trois Siècles De Découvertes”.

About the talk – I will present the work that we do in my lab focusing on the evolution and systematics of pulmonate gastropods, more specifically three clades of marine pulmonates: Onchidiidae, Ellobiidae, and Siphonariidae, all of which are represented by several marine (intertidal) species in Singapore.

Our research focuses on several taxonomic levels: we are interested in using complete mitochondrial genomes and other molecular data sets to study higher relationships among and within basal pulmonates; at the species level, we use combined molecular and morphological data to understand better the species diversity.

Pulmonate gastropods are also used as a case study to address questions of broader interest such as macro-evolutionary transitions from aquatic to terrestrial habitats, as well as questions in theory of nomenclature and taxonomy.

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