Evolution and maintenance of diversity in nature

Event Date(s): 23/03/2023

Location: The Life Sciences Conference Room.

You are invited to the upcomming instalment of  the Department of Life Sciences’, Seminar Series, Dr Swanne Gordon, Assistant Prof of Evolutionary Biology at Cornell University, will present Evolution and maintenance of diversity in nature… and its importance in academia on March 23 at 12 noon at the Life Sciences Conference Room.

Evolution and maintenance of diversity in nature… and itsimportance in academia
Our world’s climate is changing rapidly, rendering many animal populations at risk of extinction. Never has it been more important to understand how organisms withstand abrupt changes in their environment. Recent research shows that not only can ecological change lead to rapid evolution in nature, but also that such evolution can in turn effect significant changes in the environment itself, forming what we call an eco-evolutionary feedback. In this talk I share some research where we examine the role of diverse sexual characteristics on eco-evolutionary dynamics using Trinidadian guppies; a globally invasive fish in ecosystem impact with unparalleled ease of adaptation to an extreme variety of environments. At the end of the talk I discuss how studies highlighting the importance of diversity in nature for ecosystem health can be used a proxy for highlighting the importance of diversity in academia including future research perspectives, globalizing where science is being done, and diversifying the people behind the science.
About the Speaker
Dr. Swanne Gordon is an Assistant Professor at Cornell University and the University CALS Graduate Diversity and Inclusion Lead. Dr. Gordon is a behavioral and evolutionary ecologist who studies the evolution of diversity and how it is maintained under environmental change. Her team performs this research across multiple taxa, including fish, lizards, and moths/butterflies. Dr. Gordon is committed to improving diversity, equity, inclusion, justice, and belonging in STEMM and is on the advisory board for many groups related to this. She is a prolific speaker on issues related to improving policy, academic practices, and equity, especially for people who typically do not have a voice. She started her academic research career working with guppies in Trinidad and has family there, so she is excited to return to UWI and share some of the
current things her team is working on. 

Open to: | General Public |