Archives SEEM

11 décembre 2020, 11h30 (diffusion en visioconférence).

Life on our doorstep: Urban Ecology & Evolution.


Marta Szulkin

Link to seminar will be posted here :

Centre of New Technologies, University of Warsaw
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By 2050, 7 out of 10 people will be living in urban areas. Urban space is thus of intrinsic interest to humans worldwide, biologists included. It is also an environment with radically altered ecological dynamics relative to original natural habitat. Here, I will present evidence illustrating the profound effects of urbanisation on wildlife. First, I will set the scene by discussing methodological strengths and challenges of capturing environmental and biological variation in an urban setting. Second, I will show how city life affects the phenotype, microbiota and fitness in a gradient of urbanisation in the city of Warsaw, Poland, and discuss estimates of selection differentials quantified in low and highly urbanised environments. Third, I will discuss the concept that urban environments represent globally replicated, large-scale disturbances to the landscape, thereby providing an ideal opportunity to study parallel evolution in natural populations. By using great tits (Parus major) and blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) as study systems, I will present data on the effect of urbanisation in a suite of biological traits measured in a replicated framework of 8 cities. Finally, I will close off by discussing how cities represent a fascinating frontier for investigating parallel evolution across the Tree of Life.

Recent publications:

- Corsini, M., Schoell, E.M., Chatelain, M. Di Lecce, I., Dubiec, A. & Szulkin M. 2020. Urban evolutionary ecology of avian growth rates. Evolutionary Applications (early view).

- Szulkin M., Munshi-South J. & Charmantier A (Editors). 2020. Urban Evolutionary Biology. 303 pages. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.

- Chatelain M., Drobniak S. & Szulkin M. 2019 Stress effects on telomere dynamics in non-human vertebrates: a meta-analysis. Ecology Letters 23:381-398.