OE3C 2017 - Ontario Ecology, Ethology and Evolution Colloquium 2017

OE3C 2017

OE3C 2017

Ontario Ecology, Ethology and

Evolution Colloquium

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Our Speakers

We are proud to host the following plenary speakers for the OE3C 2017 Conference. 


Dr. Rowan Barrett

Rowan Barret Photo

McGill University (website)

Rowan Barrett is an Assistant Professor and Canada Research Chair in the Redpath Museum and Biology Department at McGill University, Montreal, Canada. He completed his Ph.D. at the University of British Columbia in 2010 and received postdoctoral training at Harvard University before taking up his current position. Dr. Barrett’s work is focused on understanding the genetic basis of adaptation to changing environments. His research bridges theoretical and empirical approaches in population genetics, evolutionary ecology, and molecular biology to ask questions about the reciprocal interactions between ecological and evolutionary processes. He has pursued this research program with a variety of key study systems, including stickleback fish, deer mice, anolis lizards, and microbes.

Dr. Anne Bell

Dr. Anne Bell Photo

Ontario Nature (website)

Dr. Bell will recount her less-than-straightforward journey from an undergrad program in languages and literature to a senior management position with Ontario Nature, a charitable conservation organization that has been protecting wild species and wild spaces in Ontario for over 85 years. She will touch on milestones of her graduate work in environmental studies as well as some of the highlights and the heartbreaks of advocating for nature in the twenty-first century. She will share lessons learned about landing a job after university and provide insight on the joys and challenges of working in the not-for-profit sector.

Dr. Fran Bonier

Fran Bonier Photo

Queen's University (website)

Broadly, research in my lab aims to understand how organisms cope with dynamic challenges. Cities are novel, challenging, and dynamic environments that can shape organisms in a variety of ways, influencing species distributions, behavior, physiology, and ecology. I will present some of our recent comparative work investigating how interactions among species and the challenges posed by urbanization influence distributions of birds in large cities across the globe.

Dr. Ben Evans

McMaster University (website)

Evolution of new sex chromosomes in frogs, and what it tells us about us.

In many species, sexual differentiation is crucial for reproduction and it is therefore surprising when the genetic control of this fundamental process evolves rapidly. To better understand how this rapid evolution occurs, my group at McMaster University studies frogs that have extensive variation in the genetic control of sex determination. We have identified sex-linked genes, and studied genomic processes in newly emergent sex chromosomes, such as recombination and natural selection. Our results demonstrate that novel triggers for sex determination can arise in rapid succession, and that genes linked to sex determination are frequently homologous to sex-linked genes in other very distantly related species, including humans. The implications of this work are to inform us how tightly regulated systems evolve, including the role of genomic redundancy in fast evolution.