MBGE SEMINAR by Ražit Bilgin

Time: 14:30
Location: CASE 216

Speaker          :
Ražit Bilgin, Bošaziçi University Institute of Environmental Sciences

Title                : Using genetics for investigating the evolutionary histories of species and monitoring biodiversity

Date                : February 21, 2020, Friday
Time               : 14:30  
Cookie & Tea: 14:15 CASE 216
Place               : CASE 216

Abstract         :  

Within the fields of ecology and evolutionary biology, genetics methods can be used to help understand the evolutionary history of species, and investigate ecological dynamics and species compositions, among others. In this talk, case studies of using genetics methods to track evolutionary histories of two widely distributed species in a global perspective, with also samples from Turkey, will be discussed. One of these species is the bent-winged bat, Miniopterus schreibersii distributed around the entire Mediterranean basin and in the Caucasus. Our results with this species suggest that it found refuge and diversified in Anatolia during the last glacial maximum (LGM), and afterwards expanded into the Caucasus, continental Europe and North Africa after the end of the LGM. We also used genetics methods to understand the genetic relationships of the great white sharks, Carcharodon carcharias, sampled in the Aegean coast of Turkey and Italy, to the global populations. The sequences we obtained from these samples were identical, showing little genetic differentiation from Indo-Pacific lineages, but strong separation from geographically closer Atlantic/western Indian Ocean haplotypes. Historical long-distance dispersal (probably a consequence of navigational error during past climatic oscillations) and potential founder effects are invoked to explain the anomalous relationships of this isolated ‘sink’ population, highlighting the present vulnerability of its nursery grounds. The talk will also include a discussion on environmental DNA (eDNA) studies for biodiversity characterization in the Antarctic peninsula, where samples were collected during the 2nd and 3rd Turkish Atlantic Expeditions (TAE2 and TAE3), undertaken in 2017 and 2018, respectively. The talk will conclude with a general discussion of various lines of molecular ecology and evolutionary history research undertaken in Ražit Bilgin’s lab.