Hybrid speciation project – I

Our first paper on hybrid speciation is now published in Ecology and Evolution. (Find it HERE). In this one we simulate evolution within a population of hybridizing parental species and monitor how selection on different types of loci affect the probability that the hybridizing population evolves reproductive isolation from both parents species.

Long story short – selection favoring admixture can promote the evolution of reproductive isolation in admixed populations, but selection against admixture drastically reduces the probability of hybrid speciation (at least through the mechanism simulated in this paper).

For related papers see this one by Buerkle et al., this one by Schumer et al., and this one by Blanckaert and Bank.


Reinforcement Project

Our paper testing within-species effects of reinforcement in a population of Drosophila yakuba was published yesterday in Proceedings of the Royal Society of London: B.

We also published a mini-review / opinion piece on “cascade reinforcement” early this year in Current Zoology (check out the same issue of Current Zoology as there are a bunch of interesting papers on the topic!).

For background on reinforcement acting in this system, see Daniel Matute’s original paper on reinforcement in D. yakuba here.

An eruption of Islands

Our recent paper looking at the genomic basis of parallel adaptation [Soria-Carrasco et al. 2014] was featured in an opinion piece by Elizabeth Pennisi entitled “Disputed Islands”. In her article Penski explores the “genomic island” metaphor, its evolution in evolutionary biology, and the processes that can generate those contentious peaks of divergence frequently observed within genomes.

[The piece includes two pictures of Timema (one I took myself, the other a great shot by Mo Muschick)]




Genomics of Adaptation Paper

Very cool paper looking at the genetics of ecological divergence during speciation http://go.nature.com/etsH7I

Many loci with small phenotypic effects act additively during niche divergence and hybrids are phenotypically mismatched to naturally occurring niches (i.e., morphologically, they end up in a fitness valley). An interesting paper giving the later finding some theoretical support was also recently published in Evolution (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/evo.12346/abstract).