Category Archives: Uncategorized

Fantastic beasts…and Canada is where to find them

Understanding how organisms are related to each other in the grand scheme of things has been a main goal of taxonomists, ecologists, and evolutionary biologists for centuries. While traditionally, what things look like (morphological characters) and what they eat or … Continue reading

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Big Data and Pretty Graphics Illustrate Surprising Global Trend in Marine Fish

Looking around for a topic to write about, I found a recent paper in Nature that struck me for four reasons.  The first is how it ties into my previous post about repeated patterns in evolution of sticklebacks in higher latitudes.  … Continue reading

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Scriptable evolutionary simulations in SLiM 2

Both empirical and theoretical population genetics are increasingly dependent on evolutionary simulations. How did historical processes lead to the patterns of genetic variation observed in your data set? How do selection, recombination, and drift interact to shape the genome during … Continue reading

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DNA extraction for PacBio sequencing

PacBio is emerging as the favoured sequencing approach for assembling high-quality reference genomes. But the big issue with PacBio sequencing is that to get long sequence reads you need to start with high molecular weight DNA. For my first foray … Continue reading

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Book review: Jonathan Losos’ Improbable Destinies

Is evolution predictable? This is one of the Big Questions, as much philosophy as it is biology and no less important for not really having an answer. You’re probably familiar with it as the rhetorical peg for countless talks on … Continue reading

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En garde! Assortative mating in hybrid swordtails

Understanding reproductive isolation is a pretty darn important part of understanding evolution. For new species to form, gene flow needs to be limited in some way. Under allopatry, limiting gene flow is straight forward; individuals never encounter each other so … Continue reading

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Habitat-matching dispersal facilitates local adaptation

Migration disrupts local adaptation. At least, this is the first reaction I have when I consider these two processes. In fact, my initial thought is almost always: how strong does selection have to be to overcome gene flow? Gene flow … Continue reading

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Current geography has little to say about gene flow during divergence

The terms we use to describe the geography of speciation are deceptively simple. Mention allopatry, parapatry, or sympatry, and most biologists will have a clear picture of the underlying conceptual model of range limits (and probably some strong opinions about … Continue reading

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Live from #Evol2017 – Saturday Highlights

A subset of the Molecular Ecologist team is attending this year’s Evolution meeting in Portland, Oregon. As part of our coverage of the meeting, we will recapping the highlights of each day here on the blog, and occasionally previewing upcoming presentations. … Continue reading

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Highlights from SICB 2017

The 2017 Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology meeting was held in New Orleans* on January 4th – 8th. This was my first time at SICB and I was amazed at the diversity and number of talks- over 1900 presentations on … Continue reading

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