Theoretical Models On Speciation.

2014-12-31
Birand Özsoy, Ayşegül Ceren
Kiratli, Ozan
Akoz, Gokce
Alici, Yetkin
Kiratli, Ozan
Akoz, Gokce
Alici, Yetkin
In this study, we propose to develop a modeling framework of speciation that incorporates interactions between sexual selection and natural selection with the purpose of addressing the following questions: 1. Under what scenarios could sexual selection act in concert with natural selection and cause reproductive isolation between populations resulting in new species? 2. Could sexual selection cause differences in ecological traits of species that are under natural selection and result in species having wider or narrower niche widths? 3. If sexual selection and natural selection act in concert, does this change speciation rates; in other words, is the waiting time for speciation shorter? At the end of this project, our model will shed light onto the mechanisms involved in the origin of species. Theoretical models developed in this project are likely to be framework models that could later be modified and used to address other questions in the field. As we also state later in the proposal, this project could have direct implications to conservation biology as well, since predictions from our models suggest that not only extinction patterns but also speciation patterns could be affected by losing species in a community. Lastly, this research is likely to initiate multidisciplinary collaborations across many departments at METU since theoretical biology require both a good understanding of biology and some skills in mathematics and computer programming.