Evolutionary Ecology - EE

Local adaptation in Drosophila

The ‘Local Adaptation in Drosophila’ Group includes 5 senior researchers (integrated members), including a leader holding an academic position and 4 members holding post-doctoral grants. The group also includes 6Ph. D. students.

The research projects pursued by the ‘Local Adaptation in Drosophila’ Group focus on complementary research areas in Evolutionary Biology, with the ultimate goal of a better understanding of i) the genetic basis of adaptation, ii) the evolutionary potential of populations, including the role of history and chance, and iii) the importance of evolution for understanding human societies. The Group’s research activity uses mainly Experimental Evolution as tool and Drosophila as model organism. Main topics addressed are:

1) To understand the genomic and transcriptomic changes during adaptation to new environments;

2) To clarify the role of History, Chance and Selection during Adaptive Evolution;

3) To understand the evolution of latitudinal clines, including patterns of inversion polymorphisms;

4) To characterize the interaction between genetic drift and selection as a function of population size;

5) To study the conditions under which social learning in general, and mate choice copying in particular, is adaptive and how it may affect hybridization and speciation.

In addition one post-doctoral researcher is implementing an‘Evolutionary Studies Program’ (EvoS) at the University of Lisbon and developing a research project that uses multilevel selection theory to explain rationality (or the lack there of) in human economic behavior.