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Evolutionary Ecology - EE
Local adaptation in Drosophila

Marta Santos

Past Member

I started my PhD in Evolutionary Biology in the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon in February of 2009 under the supervision of Professor Margarida Matos (cE3C) and Professor Michael Rose (University of California, Irvine, USA). My PhD experimental work was developed in the Rose Lab in Irvine, CA between 2010 and 2013. I am currently writing my thesis and working with the “Local Adaptation in Drosophila” sub-group, which belongs to the Evolutionary Ecology research group in the Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Changes (cE3c). My main research interests are in natural selection and genetic drift, the two major forces that can drive evolutionary change. It is well-known that population size is very relevant for both mechanisms. Nevertheless, little is known about how much genetic drift interacts with natural selection as a function of population size, previous evolutionary history, or ongoing selection. To tackle these issues requires populations of known differentiated histories, populations on which in turn selection is imposed with contrasting population sizes. My PhD project involves laboratory populations of Drosophila melanogaster with controlled and replicated histories of selection. The study of their evolutionary dynamics after imposition of new selection regimes, both at small and at large population sizes, as well as later crossing of populations from the same regime, will help resolve the interaction between genetic drift and natural selection, as a function of both previous and present selective and demographic histories.