Tuesday, February 10, 2015
Genomic insights into multi-species interactions: Molecular evolution, form, and function
MCZ 101, 26 Oxford Street, Harvard University
From carnivorous plant enzymes that digest insect prey, to bombardier beetles that have obligate associations with ants and spray defensive compounds up to 100 degrees C, evolution has played an integral role in the co-option of preexisting genes, driving the emergence of new functions that define the traits we see today. We will explore these processes in the context of natural history, examining the evolution of a plant lineage’s ability to digest insect exoskeletons, the chemosensory system in paussine ant nest beetles, and emerging data on the enzyme precursors that are responsible for the bombardier beetle’s explosive blast. The goal of my research is to examine the patterns and processes of evolution and functional diversification at the molecular level. I am particularly interested in how multi-species interactions shape biodiversity at the microevolutionary scale and influence form and function.
The talk is free and open to the public. The meeting is readily accessible via public transportation. Parking is available in the Oxford Street Garage with advance arrangement, as described here, or (usually but not always) at spaces on nearby streets. Everyone is also welcome to join us for dinner before the talk (beginning at 6:00 PM) at Cambridge Common restaurant, on 1667 Massachusetts Ave.
CEC meetings are held the second Tuesday of the month from October through May. The evening schedule typically includes an informal dinner (6:00 to 7:15 PM) followed by our formal meeting (7:30 – 9:00 PM). The latter begins with club business and is followed by a 50 minute entomology related presentation. Membership is open to amateur and professional entomologists.