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Gee Research Blog

The Best of Both Worlds:Planning for Ecosystem Win-Wins

Sun, 16 Nov 2014 12:25:44 +0000

The normal and healthy function of ecosystems is not only of importance in conserving biodiversity, it is of utmost importance for human wellbeing as well. Ecosystems provide us with a wealth of valuable ecosystem services from food to clean water and fuel, without which our societies would crumble. However it is rare that only a […]

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Planning for Ecosystem Win-Wins
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Life Aquatic: Diversity and Endemism in Freshwater Ecosystems

Thu, 06 Nov 2014 11:22:07 +0000

Freshwater ecosystems are ecologically important, providing a home to hundreds of thousands of species and offering us vital ecosystem servies. However, many freshwater species are currently threatened by habitat loss, pollution, disease and invasive species. Recent research from GEE indicates that freshwater species are at greater risk of extinction than terrestrial species. Using data on […]

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Diversity and Endemism in Freshwater Ecosystems
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Handicaps, Honesty and VisibilityWhy Are Ornaments Always Exaggerated?

Thu, 23 Oct 2014 13:30:30 +0000

Sexual selection is a form of natural selection that favours traits that increase mating success, often at the expense of survival. It is responsible for a huge variety of characteristics and behaviours we observe in nature, and most conspicuously, sexual selection explains the elaborate ornaments such as the antlers of red deer and the tail […]

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Why Are Ornaments Always Exaggerated?
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PREDICTS Project: Land-Use Change Doesn’t Impact All Biodiversity Equally

Mon, 13 Oct 2014 09:17:53 +0000

Humans are destroying, degrading and depleting our tropical forests at an alarming rate. Every minute, an area of Amazonian rainforest equivalent to 50 football pitches is cleared of its trees, vegetation and wildlife. Across the globe, tropical and sub-tropical forests are being cut down to make way for expanding towns and cities, for agricultural land […]

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Calculated Risks: Foraging and Predator Avoidance in Rodents

Fri, 03 Oct 2014 10:07:08 +0000

Finding food is one of the most important tasks for any animal – most animal activity is focused on this job. But finding food usually involves some risks – leaving the safety of your burrow or nest to go out into a dangerous world full of predators, disease and natural hazards. Animals should therefore be […]

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Foraging and Predator Avoidance in Rodents
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16 April 2013

GEE/CEE Seminar on mitochondria, hybrid breakdown and the origin of species


"Consequences of rapid mtDNA evolution: compensatory coadaptation, hybrid breakdown and speciation"


Speaker:

Ron Burton, Professor of Marine Biology, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego
Date & Time:
Wednesday, 17 April at 5pm
Venue: Medical Sciences AV Hill Lecture Theatre (map)
Host: Nick Lane (Ext 31385)


Abstract:

Despite its small size and limited gene content, the rapid evolution of the mitochondrial genome (mtDNA) has significant implications for the evolution of animal populations.  Aerobic metabolism requires all 13 of the mtDNA-encoded proteins in addition to >70 nuclear proteins.  In addition,  ~100 additional nuclear proteins are required for the transcription and translation of the mtDNA and must be imported into the mitochondria.  Consequently, there are many interactions between mtDNA and nucDNA that favor extensive intergenomic coadaptation.  When genetically divergent populations hybridize, coadaptation can be disrupted and lead to mitochondrial dysfunction and reduced fitness (hybrid breakdown). Interpopulation crosses between populations of the copepod Tigriopus californicus provide a good example of this scenario, as hybrid breakdown is due, in large measure, to intergenomic interactions affecting mitochondrial function (manifested in reduced ATP production and increased oxidative damage).  Recent work using transcriptomic analyses of both hybrid breakdown and population adaptation to thermal stress in Tigriopus will also be briefly discussed.

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