Genomic adaptations under recent habitat changes

Abstract Recent human-mediated introductions of non-native populations and habitat changes in native populations represent an ideal situation in which to study adaptation to novel environments in the wild. It is suggested that responses of behaviour, which mediates how animals interact with their novel environment, are among the first to be observed. We aim to use genome-wide data from high-throughput sequencing on contrasting samples between original and new populations as well as temporal samples of newly colonised populations to dissect potential selection and demographic processes during the adaptation to novel environments. Subsequently, associations between specific genomic loci and hypothesized behavioural traits are tested within populations. Long-term study systems of avian urban colonizations and European invasions are available. The project involves molecular genetic work and analyses of genomic sequencing data.

Keywords behavioural genomics, bioinformatics, selection signatures, invasion, urbanization, genotype-phenotype associations, birds

Main advisor Jakob Mueller, MPIO Seewiesen

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