Adaptations to environmental change
Understanding the genetic basis of environmental adaptations is essential for predicting biodiversity responses to global environmental changes. We combine population genomics and ecological approaches to identify signatures of climate-driven local adaptations in wild populations of non-model species.
In a project funded by the University of Stirling Impact Fellowship we studied whether bats show genetic adaptations to climatic conditions associated with climate change.
We used a reduced genome representation approach (ddRAD-sequencing) to sequence parts of the genomes of individuals from ten populations of the grey long-eared bat, Plecotus austriacus, from across climatic gradients in the Iberian Peninsula and England, representing the northern and southern range limits.
We identified genomic regions associated with adaptations to both warmer and drier climatic conditions.
We used genomic and ecological data to model the spread of adaptive genetic variation under future climate change.