What we're reading: Landscape genetics of pikas, a genetic link between larval and adult behavior, and the saddest quest story of the year so far

Law Library Reading Room (Snow!)
In the journals
Castillo JA, CW Epps, AR Davis, SA Cushman. 2014. Landscape effects on gene flow for a climate-sensitive montane species, the American pika. Molecular Ecology doi: 10.1111/mec.12650.

Pikas are heat intolerant and restricted to cool microclimates, thus range contractions have been predicted as climate changes. We evaluated the correlation between landscape variables and genetic distance using partial Mantel tests in a causal modeling framework, and used spatially-explicit simulations to evaluate methods of model optimization including a novel approach based on relative support and reciprocal causal modeling.

Edelsparre AH, A Vesterberg, JH Lim, M Anwari, MJ Fitzpatrick. 2014. Alleles underlying larval foraging behaviour influence adult dispersal in nature. Ecology Letters doi:10.1111/ele.12234.

Using laboratory and field experiments, we demonstrate that natural allelic variation in a gene underlying a foraging polymorphism in larval fruit flies (for), also influences their dispersal tendencies as adults.

In the news
Nature covers Jeremy’s project on LGBTQ scientists.
The cellular basis of blue petunias.
The surprisingly simple genetics of an experimental evolutionary change in E. coli.
What happened when a Hawaiian city councilman decided to learn the facts on genetically modified crops.
Yet another roundup of the many capabilities of R.

About Jeremy Yoder

Jeremy B. Yoder is an Associate Professor of Biology at California State University Northridge, studying the evolution and coevolution of interacting species, especially mutualists. He is a collaborator with the Joshua Tree Genome Project and the Queer in STEM study of LGBTQ experiences in scientific careers. He has written for the website of Scientific American, the LA Review of Books, the Chronicle of Higher Education, The Awl, and Slate.
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