Author Archives: Melissa DeBiasse

About Melissa DeBiasse

I am a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Florida Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience. As an evolutionary ecologist I am interested in the processes that generate biodiversity in marine ecosystems. My research uses experimental methods and genomic and phenotypic data to test how marine invertebrate species respond to biotic and abiotic stressors over ecological and evolutionary timescales.

Measuring dispersal rate in Neotropical fishes in units of ‘wallace’

Alfred Russel Wallace often gets second billing compared to Charles Darwin but in a paper recently accepted at Systematic Biology, Tagliacollo et al.  define a new term for their analyses (dispersal rate, D) and measure D in units of ‘wallaces‘ (wa) to honor the contributions of Alfred … Continue reading

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Posted in methods, phylogenetics, phylogeography, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Testing local adaptation at latitudinal and elevation range edges

A species’ distribution is determined by the relative strength and complex interaction of many factors including (but not limited to) dispersal, life history, and physiological tolerance. Often the center of a species’ range is the warm, fuzzy place to be and fitness there is … Continue reading

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Posted in adaptation, plants, population genetics, selection | Leave a comment

Survival of the fittest: a marine snail toughs it out through a salty time

For marine organisms, salinity plays an important role in determining how populations and species are distributed across time and space, particularly in the Mediterranean Sea. During the Mesozoic, about 252 to 66 million years ago, the Tethys Ocean, a body … Continue reading

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Current archival practices limit our ability to reuse genetic data

Archiving genetic data is important for a lot of reasons, like ensuring reproducibility and transparency of results. Being able to access previously published data is also important given that the same set of data can often help answer a diversity of … Continue reading

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Genomics: the “four-headed beast” of Big Data

When I bought my first laptop in 2005, it came with a free 64MB flash drive*, which I thought was pretty awesome. Given the rate at which genomic data generation has increased in the past decade, the storage capacity of … Continue reading

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Gene expression analysis- are we doing it wrong?

In the last few weeks, three new preprints have come out suggesting that like Jack Butler dropping his kids off at school in the movie Mr. Mom, when it comes to differential gene expression analyses, we’re doing it wrong.

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Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

The evolution of phylogeography in the next gen era: 20 years in review

Phylogeographers have long known about the limitations of single locus studies (ie, the effects of selective sweeps, stochasticity in lineage sorting among loci) and that adding loci improves the accuracy of demographic parameter estimates. As we continue to shift towards collecting multi-locus datasets thanks to high throughput … Continue reading

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Posted in evolution, genomics, Molecular Ecology, the journal, next generation sequencing, phylogeography, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Highlights from the 2015 Society of Systematic Biologists standalone meeting

Last week the Society of Systematic Biologists hosted its first standalone meeting from May 20-22 at the University of Michigan. The meeting included workshops, panel debates, three sessions of lightning talks, and an evening reception at the UM Museum of Natural … Continue reading

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Next generation sequencing: more replicates or more sequence?

The field of evolutionary biology changed drastically with the advent of next generation sequencing technologies. One thing that has stayed the same, however, is the importance of a well-planned experimental design, which ensures the data we collect have the power … Continue reading

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Extinct and extant Equus genomes reveal speciation with gene flow despite chromosome number variation

In their recent PNAS paper*, Hákon et al. generate full genome sequence data for each living species of asses and zebras, thus completing the set of genomes available for all extant species in the genus Equus (genomes for the donkey and … Continue reading

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Posted in genomics, speciation | 1 Comment