Hofmeister, Natalie: Travel Grant - 2016-2017

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Project Title: 
A Population Genomic Approach to Understanding Freshwater Colonization and Local Adaptation in the Imperial Shag (Phalacrocorax atriceps)
Project Abstract: 
Inferring causes of population differentiation requires thorough knowledge of an organism's evolutionary history. The Imperial Shag (Phalacrocorax atriceps) is a generalist, wide-ranging seabird that has colonized three freshwater lakes in Patagonia. Freshwater populations are genetically and morphologically differentiated from their coastal counterparts, but this differentiation may be due to genetic drift, selection, or both. P. atriceps’s freshwater colonization offers a unique opportunity to determine how drift and selective pressures interact to shape changes in genetic structure. Here, I propose to investigate possible local adaptation to a freshwater environment in the Imperial Shag using population genomics and coalescent modeling.