Quantifying the Genetic Consequences of Demographic Declines in Natural Populations
Several recent studies indicate that the levels of genome-wide diversity in species are more strongly affected by species’ life histories and ancient demographic events compared to recent changes in population size. From a conservation perspective, this implies that comparisons of genome-wide diversity among endangered species provide little information about the extent to which they are threatened by genetic factors such as inbreeding and loss of genetic diversity. During my PhD, I aim to circumvent this issue by using a palaeogenomic approach to directly quantify the rate of change in genome-wide diversity in declining populations. This will enable me to examine to what degree endangered taxa, in Sweden as well as globally, have been subject to recent declines in heterozygosity, increases in inbreeding levels and accumulation of deleterious genetic variation.
Supervisor: Prof. Love Dalén (Swedish Museum of Natural History)
Co-supervisor: Dr. Karin Norén (Stockholm University)
Oct 2016 – present: PhD in Systematics and Evolutionary Biology, Swedish Museum of Natural History
Aug 2014 – Jun 2016: Master’s Degree in Biology, Stockholm University
Summers 2013 – 2016: Research assistant, Uppsala University and Stockholm University
Jan 2011 – Mar 2014: Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and Molecular Biology, Uppsala University
Palkopoulou E, Baca M, Abramson NI, Sablin M, Socha P, Nadachowski A, Prost S, Germonpré M, Kosintsev P, Smirnov NG,Vartanyan S, Ponomarev D, Nyström J /…/ Dalén L. 2016. Synchronous genetic turnovers across Western Eurasia in Late Pleistocene collared lemmings. Global Change Biology 22: 1710–1721.