Speaker: Dr. Elizabeth Stacy, UNLV School of Life Sciences
"Why Are There so Many Tree Species?"
Ever wonder where species come from? The tens of millions of species alive today are just a tiny fraction of all species that ever lived – and how this diversity arose remains a fundamental problem in biology. The origin of the ~100,000 species of trees on Earth is a particularly challenging problem given that trees are long lived, occur in continuous populations, and are slow to evolve barriers to hybridization. Metrosideros (‘Ohi’a) is a hyper-variable tree species complex in the evolutionary hotbed of Hawaii that appears to capture multiple stages of the speciation process. Adaptation to Hawaii’s harshest, but stable, environments may drive rapid evolution of new forms.
Arrive at 6:30 p.m. to dine and hang out.
Talk begins at 7 p.m.