Aki Jarl Láruson talks about his research projects with Katie Lotterhos at Northeastern University in Boston.
The talk is titled: Evolving seas: climate change, community, and evolution
The study of evolution in the highly dynamic marine environment poses some exceptional challenges. Studies of a changing ocean environment and the evolutionary responses of marine organisms encompasses an incredibly diverse body of researchers and disciplines. One critical challenge is facilitating an efective community engagement across this broad array of ocean researchers. In order to more effectively engage with this challenge, a Research Coordination Network for Evolution in Changing Seas as been established. This network of marine scientists, evolutionary biologists and oceanographers seeks to develop integrated frameworks for studying adaptation to climate change. Another challenge facing this community (and the field of evolutionary biology in general) is the question of how to detect genetic markers responsible for adaptation to a changing environment. Recently, empirical approaches such as Gradient Forest and Generalized Dissimilarity Modeling have been used to detect allelic variants associated with variation in environmental gradients. This approach carries much promise to identify variants experiencing environmental selection. However, as with all new methods, it is critical that their limits be adequately explored prior to major conclusions being drawn from their use. In order to confront this challenge, a concerted effort to Test the Tests is underway to help establish best practices for identifying genetic variants involved in evolutionary adaptive responses.