Presentation on Genomics and Marine Environment

June 29, 2020 - 1:30 PM
Marine Mammal Institute

Humpback whale south of Depoe Bay.\Photo by Rena Olson.

The Marine Mammal Institute at the Hatfield Marine Science Center is interviewing candidates for an open assistant professor in cetacean biology.  This gives the public an opportunity to learn about current research on marine mammals, because each of the four candidates will give a talk on their research activity, open online to the public at no cost.

Next up is Alana Alexander, speaking on “Linking past to future: using genomics to assess anthropogenic impacts on the marine environment.” She speaks on Monday, June 29, 1:30 p.m.

Dr. Alexander’s description of her topic:

“Genetic data is useful for filling in gaps in ecological inference, both in terms of temporal scales — allowing inferences across deep time — but also because the relatively simple sampling procedures can be carried out over large spatial scales. My research utilizes this “time-traveling” ability of population genomics and phylogenomics by combining genomics, advanced computational tools, and behavioral, ecological, and biogeographic data to make inferences about the processes leading to patterns of genetic diversity within and among populations. These inferences range from global spatial and deep temporal scales (e.g. the worldwide impact of climate fluctuations on global sperm whale populations over the last 125,000 years), to regional spatial scales across time scales relevant to local adaptation (e.g. the evolution of MHC immune genes in Hector’s and Māui dolphin populations). Overall, I consider myself a molecular ecologist/evolutionary biologist who focuses on how genomic data can inform us about broader scale ecosystem processes and questions relevant to conservation. As a Māori scientist (the Indigenous people of New Zealand), I also maintain a strong interest in ensuring that my research can be used to support kaitiakitanga (guardianship) and rangatiratanga (sovereignty) of resources within the rohe (areas) of iwi (tribes) and hapū (subtribes).

To participate via Zoom, go to https://oregonstate.zoom.us/j/99433257839