Doko-Miles Jackson Thorburn
Project title: Evaluating species' adaptive potential - from genes to fitness
Summary: Understanding the evolutionary processes that allow an organism to respond to heterogeneous environments has been a central goal for evolutionary biologists. Balancing selection and parasite-mediated selection are such core processes. Using the three-spined stickleback model system, I aim to investigate aspects of the stickleback’s exceptional adaptive potential. Firstly, I will investigate how parasites affect trophic niche specialisation, and its influence on intra- and inter-specific interactions. On a broader scale, I aim to comprehensively detect signatures of balancing selection across the stickleback genome. Finally, I examine the significance of using a local versus a foreign reference genome in conventional population genomic studies.