The roles of developmental plasticity and natural selection in shaping phenotypic variation

Event type: 
2 August 2017
12 noon

Rountree Room, D26

Dr Daniel Warner
Auburn University, US

Environmental factors contributes to phenotypic variation in two ways: 1) by acting as a determinant of phenotypic variation (i.e., plasticity) and 2) as an agent of selection that “chooses” among existing phenotypes. Understanding how these two forces contribute to phenotypic variation in natural populations is a major goal in evolutionary biology, and is a primary objective of my research program. For this talk, I will discuss a series of laboratory and field experiments that quantify relationships among biotic and abiotic environments, embryo development, offspring phenotypes, and fitness in the brown anole lizard (Anolis sagrei). By exploring these relationships, my work addresses the adaptive significance of maternal and offspring responses to environmental variation, and how natural selection operates on phenotypic variation in wild populations.


Bio:Daniel Warner received his PhD from the University of Sydney in 2007, where he studied the ecology and evolution of temperature-dependent sex determination in an Australian lizard. After completing his PhD, Warner was a postdoctoral researcher at Iowa State University where he studied developmental plasticity and maternal effects in turtles and lizards. In 2012, he secured an assistant professor position at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. In 2015, he moved to the Department of Biological Sciences at Auburn University, where is currently and assistant professor and the curator of herpetology at the Auburn University Museum of Natural History. He has published >70 papers in peer-reviewed journals and has received multiple awards for his research. Warner’s research focuses on the ecological and evolutionary consequences of parental and embryo responses to biotic and abiotic factors.

This seminar is hosted by Dr Lisa Schwanz