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Thursday, April 8 2021
11:00am - 12:00pm
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Patterns of Heritable Variation in Natural Populations - Genomic Analyses in Corals and Humans

Zach Fuller, Ph.D.
Department of Biological Sciences
Columbia University

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Heritable variation in populations underlies the fitness differences among individuals upon which natural selection can act and allows species to adapt through evolutionary change. Because patterns of this heritable variation reflect the complex interactions of evolutionary forces over time, we can use them to ask a number of fundamental biological questions, such as: what are the typical fitness consequences of mutations? How do genetics and the environment interact to influence traits? How do populations adapt to changing environments? Although these questions have long been studied in traditional model organisms, advances in genomic sequencing over the last several years now open the door to address them for a number of other species than was possible even a decade ago and in qualitatively larger sample sizes. Taking advantage of these recent developments, I use large-scale genomic analysis and statistical inference to characterize properties of deleterious mutations in humans and uncover the genetic basis of ecologically important traits related to climate change in corals from the Great Barrier Reef.

Hosts: Drs. Greg Gibson and Mark Hay

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