Raffles Museum news
Research and education at the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, National University of Singapore.
05 Jul 2007 - Raffles Museum News has shifted to http://news.rafflesmuseum.net
Fri 05 May 2006
International Museum Day - activities at the Raffles Museum (in prep.)
Category : museums
This is an early warning only; registration details to be annouced soon through the International Museum Day webpage.
I - Regional Museum Bus Tour
Wednesday 24 May 2006
Drop off point at Raffles Museum: Science Drive 2
II - Raffles Museum Public Gallery lunch time tours
III - The MIA tour!
Registration open! You can email firstname.lastname@example.org now.
Do come prepared! Bring:
Fri 05 May 2006
08 May 2006: 11am - Naomi Pierce on "Evolution of blue butterflies: pattern and process"
Category : bejc
"Evolution of blue butterflies: pattern and process"
Naomi E. Pierce
Monday, 8th May 2006; 11:00 am - 12.00pm
DBS Conference Room
Host: Navjot Sodhi
About the Talk - The larvae of lycaenid butterflies often associate -- sometimes in an obligatory, species-specific way -- with ants. Typically this relationship is mutualistic, with caterpillars being defended from predators and parasites by attendant ants that in turn receive nutritious secretions from the caterpillars. The mutualism is occasionally corrupted, however, with caterpillars preying upon or parasitizing the ants, as in the case of the Large Blue and its relatives in the genus Maculinea.
A phylogenetic framework for the Lycaenidae permits a detailed analysis of the evolutionary dynamics of these relationships, and has revealed (1) evidence of historical constraint in patterns of host-ant choice among lycaenids; (2) consistent patterns in the polarity of evolutionary change in the acquisition of predatory or parasitic lifestyles; and (3) the footprint of ant-association past in the evolution of lycaenid predatory behaviors. Phylogenetic analysis has also uncovered aspects of mechanism underlying lycaenid diversification. A comparative study of species in the genus Agrodiaetus that have unusual karyotype variability has provided insight into the potential role of reinforcement in the speciation of this group.
About the Speaker - Naomi Pierce is the Hessel Professor of Biology in the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard. Research in her laboratory focuses on the ecology and evolution of species interactions. This work has ranged from studying genetic mechanisms and biochemical signaling pathways underlying three-way interactions between plants, pathogens and insects to investigating the ecological costs and benefits of symbioses between caterpillars in the butterfly family Lycaenidae and their attendant ants. Her main focus in recent years has been on life history evolution, and she has taken a phylogenetic approach to understanding how particular life history transitions may have affected the diversification of different lineages.
Pierce moved to Harvard in 1990 after appointments as a Research Lecturer in the Department of Zoology at Oxford University and Assistant and Associate Professor at Princeton University. She has received prizes such as a Fulbright Fellowship and a MacArthur award, and she is currently an editor of Behavioral Ecology. She lives in Cambridge with her husband, science writer Andrew Berry, and their twin daughters.