Biology ETDs

Publication Date

7-1-2011

Abstract

The primary focus in this dissertation is on the processes of environmental change that drive evolution. We are currently witnessing unparalleled changes in climate and associated changes in biotic communities. With a growing understanding that climate and habitat change, coupled with natural variability, will have an increased influence on biota into the future, it is our responsibility to learn how best to manage and conserve the Earths natural resources. Among other things, this will require a firmer understanding of biodiversity, life histories, evolutionary relationships among species, and community dynamics over multiple species. One method of understanding how species will respond to future change is to interpret the legacy of genetic signatures borne through a given lineage or group of lineages over time by testing hypotheses of change in response to past environmental pressures. I have used a number of small mammal species distributed through the northern hemisphere to investigate genetic change in response to a changing environment. I associate the disciplines of population genetics, phylogeography, and phylogenetics with knowledge of contemporary global change and paleoclimatology, landscape change through time, local geographic features within the study area and a variable ecology both within and among the study taxa.

Project Sponsors

American Society of Mammalogists Grants-in-Aid of Research; University of New Mexico Biology Department Gaudin Scholarship; University of New Mexico Graduate and Professional Student Association Student Research and Allocation Committee; Sigma Xi; U. S. Geological Surveys Alaska Regional Executive DOI on the Landscape initiative; National Park Service Arctic Network; Beringian Coevolution Project (National Science Foundation)'

Language

English

Keywords

mammal, evolution, phylogeography, Beringia, environmental change, climate change

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Biology

Level of Degree

Doctoral

Department Name

UNM Biology Department

First Advisor

Cook, Joseph A

First Committee Member (Chair)

Hafner, David J

Second Committee Member

Demboski, John R

Third Committee Member

Fawcett, Peter J

Fourth Committee Member

Poe, Steve

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