School of Biological Science Seminar
October 8, 2015 - 3:30 pm in Hamilton Hall 112

Dr. Kristi Montooth
School of Biological Sciences, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

"Evolutionary genetics of energetics: connecting the evolution of physiologies and genomes"

Organisms have evolved diverse physiological strategies that enable life in nearly every corner of our planet, from the consistently hot and humid tropics, arid deserts and cold poles, to the highly variable temperate forests and tidal shores. My lab aims to mechanistically dissect physiological responses to the environment in order to understand the complex gene-gene and gene-environment interactions that determine trait evolution, shape genomes, and give rise to tremendous physiological diversity across the Tree of Life. I will present research on energetic traits in mitochondrial-nuclear genotypes of Drosophila that illustrates how we use physiology as a focused, biologically informed lens to elucidate how genetic variants interact with the environment to determine fitness – a central question for understanding adaptive evolutionary change. I will then show how this research led us to test predictions of a model of compensatory molecular evolution in the aminoacyl tRNA synthetase proteins. I will conclude by discussing a new project in the lab that focuses on ontogeny, plasticity and the membranes of metabolism.

Tenure Seminar
Hosted by Dr. Alan Christensen