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Dr. Marcella Baiz

NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Biology
Advisor: Dr. David Toews, Penn State University

WHEN:  Nov. 18, 2022, at Noon
WHERE:   Seminar will be presented via Zoom and also in person in the North Classroom, Room 1207.


Coloration, microbes, and speciation: A story of genomic and ecological divergence in wood-warblers

A major focus of my research is on understanding the mechanisms of new species formation. As populations diverge, what genomic changes result in new adaptations? Do those adaptations help young species maintain their unique identities, even if there is subsequent hybridization and gene flow? In this talk, I will share my work about genomic and ecological divergence in wood-warblers, which are known for spectacular differences in plumage coloration among species. I will discuss how I have used whole genome sequencing of recombinant hybrids between species to identify loci underlying specific plumage traits, and to show that two pigmentation genes were recruited repeatedly in the evolution of plumage differentiation via different evolutionary mechanisms. I will also share my related work investigating the relationship between diet and gut microbiome differentiation in these warblers, and show evidence supporting a close association between evolutionary history and gut microbiome similarity.

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Everyone is welcome to join the seminar, please email to receive the Zoom link. Requests can be submitted any time before the seminar but not after 10:00am the day of the seminar.

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