SCRIPPS INSTITUTION OF OCEANOGRAPHY FACULTY CANDIDATE SEMINAR
DATE: May 3rd, Wednesday, 11am
LOCATION: Eckart Lecture Hall room 227
TITLE: On the adaptive potential of marine zooplankton to global change
The oceans are changing on a global scale and, in some cases, at rates greatly exceeding those observed in the geological record. Climate change and ocean acidification are two key stressors for contemporary zooplankton populations. Research on these topics has focused on ecological responses to this forcing, and very little is known about the evolutionary potential of zooplankton and their capacity to adapt to changing ocean conditions. Theoretical considerations suggest that zooplankton should have very high capacity for evolutionary adaptation due to large population size, high standing genetic diversity, and short generation times. Here we present results from integrated genetic/genomic and biogeographic studies on several zooplankton species sampled across basin-scale oceanographic gradients that provide insight into the adaptive potential of marine zooplankton. We discuss the evidence for strong and persistent population genetic structure within species, a key characteristic enabling local adaptation of populations to distinct oceanographic conditions. Ecological and modeling studies also illustrate the mechanisms that create dispersal barriers in the open sea for these species. We present results on phenotypic and genetic variation within cosmopolitan species and their correlation with oceanographic parameters, providing insight into how these species are adapted to current ocean conditions. Finally, we discuss community-wide patterns across the Atlantic, and identify oceanographic features that drive genetic structure across species as well as ocean regions that are important for evolutionary novelty. This talk will illustrate how research in ‘integrative biogeography’, linking genomic, ecological and oceanographic studies, can add a dimension largely missing in global change research and provide insight into the adaptive potential of marine zooplankton.