Dr. Lindsay Miles (University of Toronto)
Gene flow and genetic drift in urban environments
February 18th 12:30-1:30pm ET
We currently live in the Anthropocene, where humans have a drastic impact on ecosystems. One of the ways that we alter ecosystems is through urbanization, the building of cities. This new urban ecosystem has the potential to influence evolution for the many organisms living in or near cities. I study the non-adaptive evolutionary signatures of urbanization, how gene flow and genetic drift are impacted by urbanization. There are two competing models that predict how urbanization changes non-adaptive evolution, the urban fragmentation model and the urban facilitation model. While many organisms appear to experience the urban fragmentation model, which suggests overall negative impacts of urbanization, there are some species that experience urban facilitation. My research aims to predict which organisms are most likely experience fragmentation vs facilitation.