Doko-Miles Jackson Thorburn
Project title: Evaluating species' adaptive potential - from genes to fitness
Summary: Species’ adaptive potential is determined by genetic diversity, trait diversity and phenotypic plasticity. Each of these seems to respond differently to diverse selection pressures. For this project, we aim to elucidate the relative contributions of each of the elements of the adaptive potential, focusing on a model system, the three-spined stickleback fish. Using a large number of genomes and transcriptomes readily available, we will investigate rates of evolution, the role of alternative splicing and copy number variation and methylations in species’ adaptive potential. Upon identification of specific genomic regions, we will conduct experimental evolution exposing the fish to diverse selection pressures and quantifying the role of each of those elements on fitness components.