School of Biological Sciences Seminar Series

Incorporating micro-evolution into our understanding of diversity maintenance


Dr Abigail I. Pastore


University of Queensland

Time & Place

Thu, 21 Mar 2019 12:00:00 NZDT in School of Biological Sciences Seminar Room 275

All are welcome


Ecologists trying to understand the maintenance and conservation of Earth’s biodiversity often investigate species interactions as a major regulator of population dynamics. But we often overlook the fact that these interactions are imposing a selective force on species, resulting in evolution and ecology occurring on the same time scale.  This can create eco-evo feedback loops that result in changes to ecological conditions and potentially coexistence between species.  Here I present work on how this happens in empirical systems.  First, I present work on how protists evolve in response to competition for a shared resource- and how this changes coexistence conditions between them.  Additionally, I investigate how the selective forces of both the environment and species interactions change traits in a hyper diverse winter annual plant community in Western Australia.  We observe evolution happening in real time, though the mode and direction of evolution depends on the context of the species in the communities that they are evolving within.  Understanding how selection influences ecological interactions may have implications for our conservation efforts.

Introduced by Daniel Stouffer