Comparative analyses can reveal which factors are most important in producing population genetic structure in different species. It may be that differences in life histories, habitat preferences or physical barriers create different patterns of population structure in closely-related, sympatric species. Alternatively shared histories over geological time-scales may have produced similar patterns of genetic structure, if populations were isolated in glacial refugia for example. My research aims to characterise the population structure of multiple species of Antarctic and sub-Antarctic penguins, in order to perform these comparative analyses.
I am also interested in how climate change throughout the Holocene has affected penguin populations from the high Antarctic to temperate latitudes. To do this, I am reconstructing historical population sizes for multiple species and populations, using both ancient and modern DNA. I will then correlate these changes in population size with paleoclimate conditions, to show how periods of past climate change have affected penguins.
Dr Gareth Dyke
Dr Tom Hart (University of Oxford)
Marine Biology and Ecology
Miss Gemma Clucas
Department of Zoology Tinbergen Building South Parks Road Oxford OX1 3PS Tel: +44 (0) 1865 281329