EEB Seminar – 5 Nov

This week, EEB & the Bonier lab host Dr. Andrew McAdam (Guelph), who will talk about:

Maternal effect evolution in wild rodents

mcadamtaylor2 3200323266_0a872aed31

We all have a mother, and mothers often provide much of the early environment to developing offspring.  The importance of mothers is widely appreciated and officially celebrated on the second Sunday in May, but these maternal effects are also fascinating from ecological and evolutionary perspectives.  First, since maternal effects are experienced early in the life of their offspring mothers can have programming effects on offspring that persist into adulthood and even across generations.  Second, mothers sometimes have access to environmental cues of natural selection that their offspring will experience.  In this case, mothers can adaptively adjust offspring traits before their offspring experience those environments themselves.  Finally, maternal effects can themselves be heritable.  Maternal effect genes can provide an additional source of evolutionary potential, but since they act across generations maternal genes can lead to dramatic and sometimes counter-intuitive evolutionary responses to selection on offspring traits.  I will present work that my students and I have been performing on wild deer mice and red squirrels to better understand the importance of maternal effects to evolution in nature.

HOST: Bonier

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s