Category Archives: selection

Signatures of the reproductive lottery

In marine populations, effective population sizes are usually several orders of magnitude lower than the census size. This difference is thought to be driven by high fecundity, variation in reproductive success and pronounced early mortality, resulting in genetic drift across generations. In … Continue reading

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What does the island fox say?

Small populations are characterized by large drift and reduced efficacy of selection effects, which result in fixation of both advantageous and deleterious alleles, accumulation of homozygosity, and often reduction in population fitness. What with plummeting mammal populations across biota, understanding … Continue reading

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Sweeps and Demographic Inference

Population genetics presents us with numerous conundrums – several of which have to do with how the same genomic disposition can be “reached” over evolutionary time with multiple alternate demographic or selective processes. I have discussed several of these issues … Continue reading

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The simpler cichlid: a recent adaptive radiation

If I was asked to name a few of the most compelling systems in evolutionary biology, I’d certainly start with Darwin’s Finches. Next might come peppered moths, African cichlids, stickleback, Caribbean Anolis lizards, or Lenski’s E. coli. What’s interesting about … Continue reading

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Searching for heroic MHC genes in the fight against fungal takeover

Frogs have been disappearing all around the world in the past few decades. The reasons for these declines have been complex, but one of the biggest players is a nasty disease with an even nastier-sounding name: chytridiomycosis. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is the … Continue reading

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What makes a range?

Why do species have restricted geographic distributions? Classic ecological perspectives tell us distribution limits occur where ecological parameters coincide with the boundaries of ecological niches. Evolutionary perspectives, on the other hand, surmise distribution boundaries reflect a failure of niche evolution. Though small … Continue reading

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The why's of sex

Sex isn’t quite what it seems – while superficially wasteful in an evolutionary sense (why inherit on only one half of your genes, when you can inherit all of them asexually, or why waste resources in mating when you don’t … Continue reading

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Annotations on a tweet-storm directed more-or-less towards Neil deGrasse Tyson

So, Saturday afternoon, while I really should have been working on other things, this happened: Hi, @neiltyson, I am an actual evolutionary geneticist who probably did inherit such a gene, thanks. https://t.co/B9ATLu357L — Jeremy Yoder (@JBYoder) March 12, 2016 What … Continue reading

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Supergenes and Sparrows with Four Sexes

Supergenes are groups of tightly-linked genes that influence suites of traits relevant to fitness. While long a fixture of evolutionary genetics theory, their role in empirical studies of non-model organisms has been relatively limited, due to limitations in both our … Continue reading

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How the White Sands lizards lost their stripes

In molecular ecology, most of us work with study systems that are messy, uncooperative, or just plain difficult (note the fecal samples incubating on my lab bench). What I wouldn’t give for a nice, elegant study system — like the … Continue reading

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