Identifying the determinants of species diversification is one of science s most pressing questions. Biodiversity research has direct implications for our understanding of the origins of species, unequal species richness and the origins of phenotypic and evolutionary novelty, and is therefore an FP7 research priority. Critical elements in understanding the evolution of biodiversity are the environmental and genetic factors that influence adaptation. Similarly, we need to understand these ecosystem components in order to mitigate biodiversity loss under rapid climate change.
The latest advances in DNA sequencing technology make it possible to study the genomes of non-model species (i.e. populations in nature) and the genetic bases of their ecological diversity. In this proposal, novel DNA sequencing approaches will be used to investigate long-standing, compelling questions of ecology and evolution. Specifically, the proposal seeks to address two inter-connected objectives in the genomics of adaptation: 1) to determine differential gene expression associated with rapidly evolving and phenotypically plastic trophic polymorphisms; 2) to quantify genetic variation and its response to selection in the divergence between trophically polymorphic species, and then to identify its arrangement in the genome. The study organisms are polymorphic species of salmonid fishes native to Europe.
The Researcher will be hosted by the Institute for Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine, University of Glasgow. This is a world-class research facility for the study of ecology and evolution, and will subsequently integrate the Researcher. The Researcher will bridge research priority areas across the University and foster regional and international collaborations. Launching from this proposed project, the fellow will develop an innovative and pioneering research programme that will stimulate a lasting professional and scientific development.