CIE Seminar Series 2014 – The role of phylogeny and environment in dictating Drosophila species distributions

Vanessa KellermannSPEAKER: Dr Vanessa Kellermann, Research Fellow, Biological Sciences, Monash University
DATE: Friday, 7th November 2014
LOCATION: Melbourne Campus at Burwood, Room LT5 (B3.07)
TIME: 2:00 pm
Seminar will also be video linked to the following campuses: Geelong Campus at Waurn Ponds, Room ka4.207 and Warrnambool Campus, Room G.1.01 (Percy Baxter LT)

ABSTRACT: Since completing her PhD in 2008 Vanessa has been working towards understanding the processes that shape Drosophila species distributions.

Working with different species of Drosophila collected from all over the world her research has provided evidence for fundamental limits in ecologically important traits in restricted tropical Drosophila species; has tracked evolutionary changes of cold and desiccation resistance across the Drosophila phylogeny demonstrating different patterns of evolution in these traits; and has shown very little variation in heat resistance (critical thermal maxima) across 90+ Drosophila species suggesting most species of Drosophila may have reached a critical limit for heat resistance.

She is currently using a Drosophila comparative framework to examine the extent to which species can respond to changing environments via phenotypic plasticity.

For enquiries and appointments with the guest speaker, please email Dale Nimmo.