Speaker : Dr. Matthew G. Burgess – University of California – Sustainable Fisheries Group
Title : Putting ecological theory behind applied solutions
Using over harvesting as a case study, I will demonstrate two ways in which advances in ecological theory can be key to solving applied sustainability problems. First, ecological theory can precisely identify and articulate applied problems. Sometimes, the precise nature of a problem is counter intuitive. Second, ecological theory can identify key assumptions and data needs to focus resource-limited assessment efforts.
Speaker : Benjamin Furman – McMaster University – Department of Biology – Graduate Student with Dr. B. Evans
Title : Sex chromosome evolution, a Xenopus story
Description: Sex chromosomes contain genes critical for the accurate development of distinct sex phenotypes. Surprisingly, despite the conservation of these phenotypes (i.e., the presence of females and males) among taxa, the evolutionary trajectories and molecular underpinnings of the sex chromosomes themselves are highly variable between (and sometimes within) species. In this talk, I’ll describe my PhD work at McMaster, which has focused on the discovery and description of a novel sex chromosome system in the African clawed frogs (Xenopus). Through various levels of genome sequencing of individuals and families and by comparing to closely related species, I have found that these new sex chromosomes have evolved in an unexpected fashion, adding even greater variation to the possible ways that sex chromosomes can evolve.