The common conceptual model of the evolutionary effect of climate change suggests that as climate shifts across a species' range, genes responsible for local adaptation will flow in the same direction across the landscape, enabling the species to remain adapted to an environmental gradient. But this model assumes, simplistically, that a species is only adapted to a single environmental gradient, which happens to be the one that is shifting under climate change. This study will simulate a more complex and perhaps more realistic model: a species with two distinct traits that are locally adapted to two distinct environmental gradients, only one of which is shifting under climate change. Simulations will vary the genomic architecture of the two traits (monogenic vs. polygenic, linked vs. unlinked), to study whether and how genomic architecture influences the dynamics and nature of adaptive evolution under climate change. Simulations will be run in Python, using Geonomics, a simulation package I developed, in combination with other Python packages, including one that we will integrate with Geonomics in order to track the geographic movement of adaptive alleles across numerous generations.
The SPUR student would ideally be involved in both the implementation of the simulation models and the analysis of their results. Implementation will be in Python. Analysis could be in Python, R, and/or Julia. The student would also be highly encouraged to help debug, clean up, document, and further develop the Geonomics code base. The student would meet with me weekly, to review the prior week's progress, outline next tasks, and brainstorm when necessary. They would also be expected to read a curated set of background papers, as well as the Geonomics documentation, in preparation for their work.
Working fluency in Python and strong quantitative and computational skills are required. Experience with Git, Bash, R, and/or Julia are ideal, but are not necessary. Student must be responsible, communicative, organized, creative, and have a strong interest in or curiosity about the subject matter.