Author Archives: zgompert

Speciation in stick insects, paper and cover image

necolevol_cover_APR17

Our paper on speciation in stick insects made the cover of Nature Ecology and Evolution (image by Moritz Muschick). In this paper we show how multiple factors come together for speciation to move from early to late stages of isolation and genomic differentiation, and we identify a distinct gap in genomic differentiation between con- and hetero-specific populations in sympatry.

You can read more about the paper in these blog and news articles:

Eco-evolutionary dynamics blog

EurekaAlert

Business Standard

Futurity

Cytoptype (ploidy) inference from GBS data

We recently published a paper in Molecular Ecology Resources describing a method to determine ploidy in mixed ploidy samples from low to modest coverage GBS-like data (paper). This relies on both estimates of heterozygosity and allele specific read depth. The method we describe is implemented in the R package, gbs2ploidy. You can read more about it in this informative blog from the Molecular Ecologist.

New paper and cover image in Freshwater Biology

freshwaterbiol2016-cover

Lauren’s paper on patterns and rates of gene flow within four narrowly endemic, spring-associated species is now out in Freshwater Biology. An image from the study of the amphipod Stygobromu made the cover (see above). The paper makes nice use of approximate Bayesian computation to contrast rates and models of gene flow among distantly related sympatric taxa.

Nabokov, art, science and butterflies

Vladmir Nabokov is probably best known for his work in fiction (he wrote Lolita, among other things), but he was also a Lepidopterist. In fact, he was responsible for much of the early systematic work on the butterflies we study, Lycaeides. Lauren’s book (she contributed a chapter, Stephen Blackwell and Kurt Johnson were the editors) connects his work in art and literature to his science. Its out now (you can get it here)! Her chapter highlights how our own research has been influenced by Nabokov. Vladmir Lukhtanov wrote a nice review of the book for Nature.

Detecting selection in natural populations

Molecular Ecology published a special issue on detecting selection in natural populations. It included our paper, which introduced a new method for estimating selection from genetic time-series data (allele frequencies), along with interesting  papers on detecting polygenic selection (Stephan 2016), promises of combing experimental evolution with population genomics (Bailey & Bataillon 2016), and considerations for conducting genome scans (Haasl & Payseur 2016) (along with many interesting empirical papers). Check it out!

Work covered by The Molecular Ecologist

Stacy Krueger-Hadfield wrote a nice blog piece for The Molecular Ecologists covering some of our work on modelling uncertainty in DNA sequence data. As she notes, we have long-advocated for propagating uncertainty in genotype into inferences of population genetic parameters (e.g., measures of differentiation, introgression, etc.). This provides more honest measures of overall uncertainty and allows one to take advantage of lower-coverage sequence data. Check out her post here.

MS opportunity, evolutionary responses to climate change

We seek a Master’s student to conduct research on evolutionary responses to climate change. The student will be co‐advised by Peter Adler and Zach Gompert at Utah State University. Together we will investigate changes in the genetic diversity of two perennial grass species in a long‐term precipitation manipulation experiment in an eastern Idaho sagebrush steppe. We will compare the experimental responses with patterns across an elevation and precipitation gradient. Field sampling will begin in May, 2016. Stipend support will consist of both research and teaching assistantships. To apply, please email a 1) cover letter, 2) CV, 3) description of research experience, and 4) contact information for three references to Peter Adler (peter.adler@usu.edu) by Dec. 1.