University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
College of Letters and Sciences
Dean of the Division of Life Sciences
Professor for the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology & the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability
Friday, April 17, 2015
Host: Peter Ralph
Abstract: The evolution of local adaptation is a long-standing question in evolutionary biology. The ability to survive and thrive in a given environment is particularly important for long lived non-mobile trees experiencing rapid climate change. The study species is Quercus lobata, an endemic widespread oak in California now in serious jeopardy due to habitat loss and threat of global warming. This talk will explore the evidence of local adaption using genomic tools available for nonmodel systems. We have analyzed samples from throughout the species range using reduced library sequencing, epigenetic markers, and transcriptomes. We have also conducted gene expression studies of oak seedlings in a drought experiment. Overall, these findings show that the geographic structure of genes and genomes are shaped by climate and provide the opportunity for evolution of local adaptation.