School of BioSciences, School of Mathematics & Statistics
Friday 31st March
Woodruff Theatre, Level 1, Building 184 (Old Microbiology), The University of Melbourne
Predicting adaptation to climate change in plants
Anticipating the effect of climate change on plants requires understanding its evolutionary consequence on traits and genes in complex realistic environments. Here I will be presenting some of our research on the genetic basis of adaptation to climate using natural variation in Arabidopsis thaliana. Combining empirical evidence from field experiments with simulations, we developed a predictive model of adaptation including complex traits interaction and genome-wide marker information. The results helped assessing the evolutionary impact of key features such as the climate at the place of origin of the genotypes, the number and frequency of adaptive loci and the heterogeneity of the newly experienced climate.
Dr Fournier-Level heads a research group interested in the population genomics of adaptation to environmental stresses. One of the central goals of the group’s research is to develop quantitative genetics models predicting the evolution of fitness traits and the fate of genetic diversity underlying it in the context of climate change. He also uses insects and plants as models to assess the risk of emergence of new pests resisting to current chemical management tools. The group has broad expertise in genomics, quantitative genetics, climate modeling and high throughput behavioural assays in insects.