Thu 30 Nov 2017: 10.00am [PhD Defense] – Cros Emilie Sidonie on “The emergence and loss of phenotypic and genomic diversity in Southeast Asian passerines”

PhD Defense Seminar cum Oral Examination
Department of Biological Sciences, NUS

“The emergence and loss of phenotypic and genomic diversity in Southeast Asian passerines”

Speaker:      Cros Emilie Sidonie (Graduate Student,Dept of Biological Sciences, NUS)         
Date:            30 Nov 2017, ThursdayEmilie.jpg
Time:            10am
Venue:         DBS Conference Room
Supervisor: Asst Prof Rheindt, Frank Erwin

Abstract –  “While half of the earth’s biodiversity resides in tropical regions, studies on the mechanisms and causes of recent biotic differentiation have mostly focused on the northern hemisphere. Understanding the biogeographical history of species in tropical regions is, however, important as it may help us predict their response to future changes and conserve tropical species diversity. Southeast Asia is a major biodiversity hotspots, and because of the periodical connectivity of its land masses due to sea level changes during Pleistocene glaciations, this region is particularly interesting for studying the evolutionary mechanisms governing differentiation. Southeast Asia’s biodiversity is particularly threatened by deforestation and habitat modifications associated with human growth, which makes this region also interesting for studying the mechanisms underlying the loss of diversity.

Using vocal and genomic data I studied the emergence and loss of phenotypic and genomic diversity in sylvioids of Southeast Asia. I found that Pleistocene glacial cycles have led to important vocal and genomic differentiation in populations found on different Sundaic landmasses. Additionally, genome-wide data suggest that those divergences happened after approximately 800 kya, a point marked by an increase in the intensity and length of Pleistocene glacial cycles. Finally, using comparative studies of species with a wide range of ecological characteristics, I found that characteristics that make some species genetically and phenotypically diverse also render them more prone to local extinction.”

All are welcome

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