Live from #Evol2016 – highlights from Monday and what to see on Tuesday June 21st


The Molecular Ecologist team is all over this year’s Evolution meeting in Austin, Texas.

As part of our coverage of the meeting, we’ve been previewing presentations we’re excited about and recapping the highlights of each day here on the blog.

You can find all of the TME contributors on Twitter using the sidebar on the right or compiled in a handy Twitter list here. Follow along with all meeting news using the hashtag #Evol2016.

Highlights from Monday, June 2oth


Lauren Schiebelhut, Brian Gaylord, Rick Grosberg, Laura Jurgens, Michael Dawson “Genetic and ecological recovery from a massive invertebrate die-off along the central coast of California” — Invertebrate species with the longest larval dispersal period had the greatest recovery and the least genetic population subdivision.

Colin Olito “The evolution of spawning strategies in broadcast spawners” — High fertilization success results in low per gamete returns Large and small males are under different selection regimes.


Kara Jones: One is the loneliest number … hypothesis testing in salamanders. The talk was pretty cool, but the plots of individuals with admixture represented as little squares was so cool, I will shamelessly steal this idea.

Christopher Eckert: Why range limits? The best line of the day: There’s a PhD thesis every 10 cm in California. Oh, California! But, it appears that metapopulations are more important in range limits than niche models.

Rushworth: Maintenance of asexual reproduction in complex natural environments. Sexual, asexual and hybrid asexuals. Really cool system, but one of the most important lines uttered in a talk: we need to understand more about asexual reproduction in natural populations.


Joel McGlothlin: Physiological resistance of garter snakes to toxic prey involves six genes in the voltage-gated sodium channel family. Garter snakes tolerate toxins produced by the newts they prey on thanks, in part, to a gene variant that pre-dates the existence of snakes — great run-through of some very cool evolutionary biology, which is already published:

Steven Franks: Selection causes rapid genome-wide evolution in Brassica rapa following a climatic change — a genome-informed update of a paper I’ve cited easily a dozen times: pnas.0608379104


What our contributors are excited about for Tuesday, June 21st


Justin Havird and Daniel Sloan “Expression, selection, and co-evolution in mitonuclear genes” (Ballroom A, 9:45) Three topics near and dear to my heart.

Jordan Satler and Bryan Carstens “Testing for co-diversification in an ecological community: an example from the Sarracenia alata pitcher plant system” (MR4 10:00) I’m excited to see a friend and colleague talk about this charismatic carnivorous plant.

Katherine Liu “What can we learn from experimental evolution?” (MR9AB 11:30) Very cool things I’m sure! I’m hoping this talk will point to the strengths of experimental evolution and caveats to keep in mind.


Louis-Marie Bobay: The prokaryotic species problem. (10:15am, 8, Species delimitation) I’m interested to see their thoughts on this and how they plan to go about working with prokaryotes.

Matt Rutter: Lessons from 200,000 Arabidopsis phenotypes: the power of unPAK. (9:00am, 6B, Mutation)Interested to see the power of getting undergrads involved in research and collecting data.


Nancy Moran: Harmony vs. discord in relationships of heritable symbionts and their hosts (9:00, Ballroom A, SSE Symposium: Co-evolving genomes: Cooperation and conflict in cytonuclear interactions)

Arthur Weis: Evolutionary Rescue through Assisted Gene Flow: Phenology Makes it Complicated (10:45, MR8, Conservation Biology)

Joel Sachs: Metapopulation dominance and genomic-island acquisition of Bradyrhizobium with superior catabolic capabilities (11:45, Ballroom C, Coevolution 3)


About Rob Denton

I'm a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology at UConn. I'm most interested in understanding the evolutionary/ecological consequences of strange reproduction in salamanders (unisexual Ambystoma). Topics I'm likely to write about: population and landscape genetics, mitonuclear interactions, polyploidy, and reptiles/amphibians.
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