All are welcome!
“Natural Selection and Evolution: Lessons from butterfly mimicry”, a seminar by Dr Krushnamegh Kunte
Date: 1 February 2013; Time: 4 PM; Venue: LT 20, Faculty of Science (map)
Abstract: Natural selection is the central tenet of evolutionary biology. A few key phenomena have helped improve our understanding of natural selection and how it affects biodiversity from large ecological communities and constituent species to genomes and genes. One such system is Batesian mimicry, in which undefended species (“mimics”) mimic toxic or otherwise defended species (“models”) that predators have learned to avoid from prior experience. Here I will focus on the remarkable diversity in mimicry systems that is organized in large model-mimics communities called “mimicry rings”. I will present a model of frequency-dependent selection on mimicry to show how it shapes the evolution of various types of mimicry. I will then discuss how our understanding of mimicry systems can be used to address larger biological problems. Specifically, I will present my work on the evolution of sexual dimorphism, which has provided novel insights into the behavioral and ecological dynamics. Finally, I will present my ongoing work on the genetics of mimicry and the evolution of supergenes in swallowtail butterflies.