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Dynamics and fate of island and clinal hybrid zones


Research objectives and content Hybrid zones are the arenas where species may fuse by introgressive hybridisation or where speciation is completed due to selection against the production of unfit hybrids. The Ficedula flycatchers occur together both in a clinal hybrid zone and in isolated island populations. In the cline there is evidence for ongoing speciation by reinforcement of premmating isolation. On the islands on the other hand, such evidence are lacking. The project seeks to compare the dynamics of these two classes of hybrid zones, applying genetical and ecological methods. The main goal is to unravel under what circumstances speciation by reinforcement may evolve and which factors that may prevent its evolution. I will investigate: (a) Whether geneflow can prevent speciation. (b) Whether adaptations to avoid hybridisation has reached different levels of advancement in the two hybrid zones. This will be discussed in relation to time since origin of the hybrid zones and pattern of gene flow. (c) The evolutionary history of the species complex, leading to the formation of the hybrid zones and their subsequent evolution. Training content (objective, benefit and expected impact) Population biological research is most powerful when ecological and genetical methods are applied in combination. As a researcher trained in ecological methods I have limited experience with molecular techniques and statistical methods for analysing population genetical data. At the Department of Animal Breeding and Genetics I have the opportunity to learn these powerful methods from international authorities in this field of research. I will become a better scientist, and I think there is a general need for researchers able to combine these approaches. Links with industry / industrial relevance (22) See description of host institution

Funding Scheme

RGI - Research grants (individual fellowships)


The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
Husargatan 3
751 24 Uppsala