Sunday, October 4, 2009

2009 Anolis Symposium, Final Day

Day 2 of talks in the 2009 Anolis Symposium hosted by the Museum of Comparative Zoology is drawing to a close this afternoon with some of the final scheduled talks of the meeting by Jonathan Losos, pictured right (upper panel); and by Dechronization blogger-in-chief Rich Glor (lower panel). This meeting has featured a large number of great talks, but I only have time & space to comment on a few here. In the morning session, we saw a whole series of presentations on invasive anoles (a "mini-symposium," to steal Jason Kolbe's words), including a great talk by Todd Campbell on the natural history and ecological interactions of the 6 introduced anoles found in the Miami area of South Florida; and some cool preliminary results from Kolbe suggesting adaptation in thermal tolerance in northern vs. southern populations of introduced Anolis sagrei in Florida. We also saw several talks on the evolution and genetics of development in Anolis, including a genuinely fascinating study (and I'm not usually fascinated by such studies, so this is no small compliment) by Doug Menke showing the association of a deletion in the Tbx4 hindlimb enhancer and "short-limbedness" among anole species. To my knowledge, this is the first study to potentially identify a explicit genetic variant responsible for the quantitative difference in limb lengths among anoles. This afternoon we heard from Joel McGlothlin, a post-doc with Butch Brodie at the University of Virginia, who presented results showing that genetic constraint in the form of the G-matrix is quite conserved among anole species; and from Luke Mahler, a present Losos graduate student, who is examining the relationship between niche availability and the rate of phenotypic evolution in Caribbean Anolis. If recent history can be used as a guide, there should be only 3653 days (and counting) until the next edition of the Anolis symposium. . . . I'll be there!

1 comment:

Jose Luis said...

The Anolis symposium 2009 was a great opportunity to meet and know all the people and works that are conducted with Anoles. I had the great opportunity to be there and all the talks were very interesting and the posters topics were very diverse. At the end of the symposium many questions about the Anolis ecology was present and I hope that in the next symposium many of these questions will be answered by myself or for others collaborator.
Congratulations to the organization staff and thanks for all during my stay in Cambridge.