Open to public

  • Natural and Artificial Immune Selection on Common Pathogens

    Thu, Nov 16, 2017, 12:30 pm

    Host immunity is a strong selective force on pathogen populations, and systematic differences in their interactions with the immune system partly explain pathogens’ divergent epidemiological and evolutionary patterns. A common assumption is that pathogens typified by multiple strains undergo some kind of negative frequency dependent selection by the adaptive immune response, leading to rapid strain turnover or the coexistence of minimally overlapping strain sets. In this talk, I describe how this conception is incomplete for several common pathogens.

  • Social interactions in primate genomics, life history and evolution

    Thu, Oct 26, 2017, 12:30 pm

    In social species, including our own, interactions with other members of the same species powerfully shape the environment that animals face each day. These interactions mediate the evolutionary costs and benefits of group living. Here, I will present our recent research on the impact of social interactions at the molecular and organismal levels. Using a 45-year data set from wild baboons in Kenya, we demonstrate that social adversity in early life combines with ecological pressures to profoundly shape individual survival and lifetime reproductive success.

  • Natural and Human Agencies Drive African Savanna Ecosystems

    Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 4:30 pm

    African national parks have served as templates for theoretical models of naturally functioning ecosystems and in conserving wildlife assemblages. Overlooked has been the co-evolutionary role humans played in shaping Pleistocene ecosystems and the dominant role of pastoralism in restructuring Holocene landscapes. Comparative studies of protected and non-protected areas used to infer human activity fail to capture the cascading effects of segregating inter-linked human and wildlife ecology.

  • Managing biological invasions: What's worked, what hasn't and some controversial new prospects

    Thu, Oct 19, 2017, 12:30 pm

    Eradication and maintenance management of invasive species have long histories, and incremental improvement of existing technologies plus occasional novel approaches have led to more challenging targets and impressive successes, especially on islands.  Many nonnative mammals and several nonnative birds, insects, and plants have been eradicated from islands.  Islands over 10,000 ha are often now feasible targets.  Eradication trends include more frequent attempts, and higher success rates, on larger islands and inhabited islands as well as projects targeting multiple invasive species.  Insec

  • Biodiversity discovery in a tropical biome: Implications for speciation and conservation

    Thu, Oct 5, 2017, 12:30 pm

    Although already famous for their richness, the biodiversity of most tropical biomes is likely to be underestimated by current taxonomy, especially for low dispersal species. Combining extensive field work, new tools from phylogenomics, and analyses of phenotypes and distributions, we have focused on the lizard fauna across the vast monsoonal savanna of northern Australia. Though well characterized by traditional morpho-taxonomy, we have uncovered extreme levels of mostly cryptic phylogeographic diversity in skinks and geckos – on par with that seen previously in rainforests.

  • The well-choreographed development of host-microbial interactions

    Thu, Sep 28, 2017, 12:30 pm

    Living in a microbial world, all plants and animals have developed ways to accommodate and cooperate with particular microbial consortia. Perturbing these interactions allows us to better understand their character. This is important because we are in the midst of a massive uncontrolled experiment that is impacting these ancient relationships, with trouble ahead. Understanding the ground-rules may improve prevention and facilitate restoration.


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