BioSciences Seminar Series - Professor Johanna Schmitt - The genomic basis of adaptation to climate in Arabidopsis thaliana
Whether and how natural populations will adapt fast enough to persist in the face of rapid climate change is a critical question for 21st century evolutionary biology. The annual plant Arabidopsis thaliana provides a model system for investigating and predicting patterns of climate adaptation. Extensive genomic data exist from many accessions collected across the species’ climate range. These data can be combined with phenotypic data from common garden experiments using genome-wide association (GWA) to identify traits and loci associated with life history variation and fitness, and to test for a geographic signature of adaptation to climate in the site of origin. Genomic variation in seed traits controlling dormancy determines a plant's seasonal environment, and is therefore critical for climate adaptation.
Professor Johanna Schmitt, Miegunyah Distinguished Visiting Fellow
Professor Johanna Schmitt
Miegunyah Distinguished Visiting Fellow
Department of Evolution and Ecology University of California Davis
Johanna Schmitt has been a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Evolution and Ecology at University of California, Davis since 2012. Previously she was at Brown University, most recently as Stephen T. Olney Professor of Natural History in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Director of he Environmental Change Initiative. She has served as President of the American Society of Naturalists and the Society for the Study of Evolution. She is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences. She is a recipient of the Alexander von Humboldt Research Award and the Molecular Ecology Prize. In 2013 she served on the National Research Council Study Group on Understanding and Monitoring Abrupt Climate Change. Her research examines the ecological mechanisms and genetic basis of adaptation to heterogeneous environments, combining field experiments, genetic and environmental manipulations, genomic analysis, and climate data.