Project proposal details
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Genomic architecture of parallel ecological divergence in Littorina saxatilis
Project based at
Silwood Park (Imperial)
From morales et al. Sc Adv 2019 https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/5/12/eaav9963.abstract
We aim to understand the mechanisms underlying parallel (adaptive) divergence (and putatively speciation) with gene flow in Littorina saxatilis. This snail has evolved two ecotypes that are adapted to micro-habitats: crab and wave. They hybridise in the contact zone and we take advantage of these hybrids to clarify how reproductive isolation evolve despite interbreeding.
Previous studies identified phenotypic and genetic clines in transects spanning the crab-hybrid-wave axis in Sweden and comparisons involving only the extremes of the transect (i.e., “pure” crab and wave snails without intermediates) showed more pronounced divergence between the crab and wave snails in Spain than Sweden (see the above-mentioned paper). We now want to explore and understand the patterns of divergence along the crab-wave axis in Spain. In the dataset under exam, we sampled a transect spanning the crab-hybrid-wave axis in Spain and sequenced 73 individuals using 3x low coverage whole genome sequencing.
In this project the student will analyse novel genome-wide sequencing data of Littorina saxatilis to test for distinct genetic groups partially related to their position along the transect. Thsi project will be jointly supervised by Francesca Raffini and Roger K. Butlin.
Good attitude to programming, bash and R/python. Good attitude to data analysis.
Training will be offered.
Selection and eligibility
This is a remote project.