MBGE SEMINAR by Utku Perktaž

Time: 14:30
Location: SCI 103

Speaker          :
Utku Perktaž, Hacettepe Üniversitesi, Fen Fakültesi, Biyoloji Bölümü (Biogeography Research Lab., Zoology Section,

Department of Ornithology, American Museum of Natural History

Title                : Back to the past, and planning for the future: genetic and ecologic approaches to phylogeographic inferences of avian species
Date                : April 19, 2018, Thursday
Time               : 14:30   
Cookie & Tea: 14:15 SCI 103   
Place               : SCI 103

Abstract         : In this presentation, I try to present phylogeographic examples of biodiversity in birds from different continents [e.g. Eurasia, Africa, and North America] on the basis of genetic and ecological data. I particularly aimed to test the glacial refugia hypothesis during the past climatic oscillations of the late Quaternary for different bird species. At first, I focus on the phylogeographic pattern of widespread woodpeckers, distributed from Western Europe to the Caucasus and Iran, and Russia. Much of the habitat of these woodpeckers in Central and Northern Europe was covered by ice, tundra, steppe or other unsuitable habitats during the Pleistocene; consequently, they must have come to occupy most of their current range during the past 20,000 years. Secondly, I focus on narrow- and wide-ranging bird species from Africa and North America to discuss their phylogeographic pattern in terms of glacial refugia hypothesis and the past climate change oscillations. At last, I focus on the phylogeography of an interesting narrow-ranging bird species, the Anatolian Nuthatch (Sitta krueperi), to discuss its evolutionary history in Anatolia. I used multi-loci DNA data to investigate the genetic structure and evolutionary history of these bird species. The results indicate that all these species are sensitive to the effects of climate change, and it is very important to understand the past to predict the future for biodiversity conservation.


Short biography : Utku Perktaž was born in Ankara in 1977. He is currently associate professor in the Department of Biology at the Hacettepe University, and he also holds research associate title in the Department of Ornithology at the American Museum of Natural History. His current research focuses on mainly phylogeography of avian species, but because of his wide-ranging collaborators, he also interested in phylogeography of different organisms, like mammals, insects (e.g. fruit flies). During his PhD, he worked in the Department of Zoology at the University of Oxford as a visiting research fellow for six months. Before his faculty position at the Hacettepe University, Utku was a Chapman Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Ornithology at American Museum of Natural History, where he performed his wide-ranging African biogeography project. Currently he is teaching graduate and post-graduate course in the Department of Biology at the Hacettepe University and performs different projects at the American Museum of Natural History. He is the academic advisor for master students at Hacettepe University and manages the Biogeography Research Lab. at the same university.