Short-term Visitor

Connectivity of new zealand coastal marine communities: a synthesis of datasets

PI(s): Shane Lavery (University of Auckland)
Start Date: 10-May-2010
End Date: 2-Jul-2010

Genetic connectivity between populations of marine organisms provides the link that maintains species cohesion and evolutionary success. Barriers to that connectivity over time create isolated populations and allow divergence and adaptation. We are beginning to get an understanding of these processes for individual species, but a far greater understanding of the forces that drive connectivity in the sea will come from examining many representatives of the same marine communities. Now, the accumulation of data from multiple co-distributed species, along with the development of more sophisticated analytical methods of inferring dispersal, migration and population history provide the opportunity to build a community-level picture of these forces. My research focuses on New Zealand coastal marine communities, which are somewhat isolated, yet appear to show some complex patterns of connectivity. The purpose of the visit is to collaborate with NESCent scientists to further 1) a successful collation and synthesis of existing geographically explicit genetic data across many species, and 2) development and application of new and/or modified analytical approaches to uncover common patterns of population genetic structure and their most likely drivers.

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