Catalysis Meeting

Tracking the biotic response to global climate change through genomic analysis

PI(s): Alan Bergland (Stanford University (,CA))
Dmitri Petrov (Stanford University)
Paul Schmidt (Univ. of Pennsylvania)
Start Date: 2-Nov-2011
End Date: 3-Dec-2012
Keywords: adaptation, evolutionary genetics, climate change, development, GIS modeling

An enormous body of data has now accumulated documenting the presence of anthropogenic climate change. Most of our evidence of climate change comes from direct measurements: for instance, atmospheric CO2 concentration has risen along with increases in average atmospheric and oceanic temperatures and there has been dramatic acidification of the ocean. In addition to these direct measurements, we have evidence that various species have responded to these changes in the environment. In some cases, organisms have shifted their range either poleward or to higher elevations. Likewise, various animals have altered their behaviors by migrating earlier in the spring and later in the fall. Finally, in contrast to such behavioral shifts, some species have simply evolved tolerance to these new environmental conditions. Although we now have evidence that life has responded to global climate change, we have only a limited understanding of the genetic shift in populations accompanying these responses. Identifying the genetic shifts in response to climate change will give us insight into the long term, evolutionary potential of species to respond to this selective pressures. At this Catalysis Meeting, we will develop on methods and strategies to uncover the genetic response to climate change using the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, and its close relatives.