"Although research into the origin of species has made huge progress recently, virtually nothing is known regarding the drivers of speciation at a genomic level. However, the ongoing genomic revolution has made it possible to address key questions such as how many genes are involved in ecological speciation, and whether the same genes are involved in parallel speciation events. Allying Phillimore’s experience in evolutionary ecology of birds and Savolainen’s expertise and significant resources in speciation genomics, we propose to address these outstanding questions. With special emphasis on island finches and Neotropical tanagers, the fellow will conduct a series of global ecological and genomic analyses, combining phylogenies, ecological datasets, candidate genes approaches and novel comparative genomic analyses using the genomes of chicken and zebra finch as templates. He will also disentangle one of the most controversial examples of sympatric speciation in birds, that is, the finches from Tristan de Cunha."
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