Title: The role of divergent sexual selection in speciation.
As a behavioral and evolutionary biologist, I am fascinated by relationships among different scales of analysis. Our lab addresses questions related to the underlying molecular basis of morphological traits, asks how these traits are shaped by selection and historical processes, andanalyzes the role of individual-level process for shaping population patterns. Barn swallows are widespread throughout the Holarctic with fascinating level of phenotypic divergence in morphology andbehavior. We are currently using an integrative approach to examine divergent phenotypic variation in this young radiation of birds. In this seminar, I will explore the role of history, selection, and physiological mechanisms in shaping divergent phenotypic variation among populations in this young species complex. I explore the possibility that sexual selection has played an important role in shaping behavioral and morphological variation among closely related populations of barn swallows, with recent evidence that this may be widespread in a number of other taxa.