PROGRAMME for 2019
Monday 18 March 2019 – 6.30 pm – Julia Day – Continental vs. island evolution of a ‘great speciator’: resolving the Zosterops taxonomic conundrum.
Abstract: Different environments, such as islands and continents, have had profound effects on how biodiversity is shaped. While evolutionary processes are predicted to follow different patterns in island and mainland radiations, the extent to which these geographical contexts influence evolutionary trajectories remains poorly understood. This is in part because few studies have focused on species-rich groups of highly dispersive animals, which can colonise both continents and extensive archipelagos over comparable timeframes. In this talk I will focus on how resolving the evolutionary relationships of white-eyes (Zosterops) – lauded as a ‘great speciator’ – in Africa, Arabia and associated islands, combined with morphological data, has allowed us to better understand evolutionary processes across these different geographic landscapes. I will also discuss how museum collections and genetic data have aided in the task of deciphering the tricky and sometimes infuriating taxonomy of this highly cryptic group, leading to a likely substantial increase in mainland species.
Biography: Julia Day is Associate Professor at University College London and has developed a research programme in evolutionary and, more recently, ecological research. She mainly works on species-rich groups of African fishes but, being a birder, couldn’t resist the challenge of working on a notoriously difficult-to-identify avian group.
The provisional dates for the other evening meetings in London are:
20 May (plus Annual Review Meeting)
Full details will be posted in due course, but please make a note of the dates in your diary!