Stepfanie Aguillon presented yesterday at AOS on a “side” (but major) research project on limited dispersal and isolation-by-distance in Florida Scrub-Jays. Stepfanie started this as a rotation project when she first arrived at Cornell in collaboration with Nancy Chen. The paper is available today on PLOS Genetics (http://journals.plos.org/plosgenetics/article?id=10.1371/journal.pgen.1006911). This study utilizes the long-term monitoring of the Florida Scrub-Jays and the genomic and pedigree resources available to understand how limited dispersal creates isolation-by-distance patterns in nature.
Stepfanie carried on to present a poster on her dissertation work on the genomics of the northern flicker. She has been using ddRAD sequencing to understand differentiation between three of the main subgroups. She has found low divergence between the different groups, but has some ability to differentiate them, despite our initial concerns that they might be effectively panmictic. This is setting the stage nicely for Stepfanie’s investigation into detailed patterns of differentiation using whole-genome resequencing.