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We strive to understand the evolutionary and ecological mechanisms that generate and maintain biological diversity using population genomics, experimental manipulations, and field studies. Our goal is to not only test basic evolutionary and ecological theory, but also directly inform policy and management decisions that will ultimately determine the fate of biodiversity.

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Congratulations to Brenna Forester for co-authoring a paper published in PNAS!!

Myotis escalerai in flight in Soria, Spain (photo credit: Daniel Fernandez Alonso)

Forecasts of species vulnerability and extinction risk under future climate change commonly ignore local adaptations despite their importance for determining the potential of populations to respond to future changes. In a paper recently published in PNAS, Dr. Orly Razgour, leading a team of international collaborators including Funk Lab postdoc Brenna Forester, present an approach to assess the impacts of global climate change on biodiversity that takes into account adaptive genetic variation and evolutionary potential. Focusing on two Mediterranean bat species, the team showed that considering local climatic adaptations reduced range loss projections but increased the potential for competition between species. These findings suggest that failure to account for within-species variability can result in overestimation of future biodiversity losses. Therefore, it is important to identify the climate-adaptive potential of populations and to increase landscape connectivity between populations to enable the spread of adaptive genetic variation. See HERE for popular article by Wired on this paper.

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