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The evolution of recombination rate variation in the wild

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Meiotic recombination is often essential for proper chromosome segregation and is an important driver of genetic diversity. The relative benefits and costs of recombination are likely to vary with differences in strength of selection and population demography: if recombination rate itself is heritable, then it has the potential to evolve within contemporary populations. My research investigates the evolution of recombination rates in wild populations in Soay sheep (Ovis aries) and Red deer (Cervus elaphus) by identifying genes associated with recombination rate and examining their relationship with reproductive success and survival. I will also discuss the implications of these findings for understanding the evolutionary importance of recombination rate variation more broadly across taxa.

This talk is part of the Behaviour, Ecology & Evolution Seminar Series series.

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