Graduate College Event

Brown Bag

10/24/2019 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm

October 2019 Brown Bag

Rod Library Room 287

Interpreting genetic variation in glaciated environments; implications for conservation

Dr. Peter Berendzen, Professor of Biology

Periodic glacial cycles throughout the Pleistocene shaped the landscape and drainage patterns of the upper Mississippi River Basin. Today, this landscape has been dramatically altered by intensive agricultural activities and urbanization resulting in the loss and degradation of aquatic habitat threatening many native fishes. Landscape genetics is a tool that can identify fragmented populations and help guide conservation of imperiled species. Unfortunately, the impact of glacial cycles on the distribution of species in the region obscures the observed genetic signature. Although genetic analyses are unable to detect any effects due to contemporary habitat alterations, it does not preclude the possibility that populations have been impacted by human activities. Therefore, it is important to consider species-specific life history, distribution and historical processes when interpreting genetic data for application to conservation efforts in this region.