ORCID Identifier(s)

0000-0002-6288-2606

Graduation Semester and Year

2020

Language

English

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Quantitative Biology

Department

Biology

First Advisor

Matthew Walsh

Abstract

Understanding how environmentally-induced variation ultimately leads to speciation is a main component of evolutionary ecology. This dissertation uses Daphnia in experimental and comparative studies to address several theoretical questions concerning the role of phenotypic plasticity in the evolutionary process. Specifically, I explore novel environmental factors which induce plasticity and investigate the plastic response across systems to determine general hypotheses for understanding the mechanisms which may be involved. Additionally, this dissertation provides empirical results which add to the body of research investigating the transition between environmentally induced phenotypes and genetic adaptation. The results of this body of work show that ancestral plasticity can predict the direction of adaptation, and that location-specific biotic factors may change the mechanisms by which plasticity leads to patterns of local adaptation. This work demonstrates the value of Daphnia as a model system for addressing empirical evolutionary questions and provides insight on the complex function of plasticity in evolutionary transitions.

Keywords

Evolution, Biology, Ecology, Plasticity, Daphnia

Disciplines

Biology | Life Sciences

Comments

Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington

Included in

Biology Commons

Share

COinS