evolution

Hurricane Study Shows Natural Selection in Lizards

July 26, 2018
A new study in the journal Nature gives a graphic demonstration of Anole lizards living on islands in the Caribbean and how they survived – or not – two violent hurricanes in 2017.

Elastic Slingshot Powers Snipefish Feeding

July 19, 2018
A recent study by UC Davis graduate student Sarah Longo shows that snipefish feed with an elastic-boosted head flick at almost unprecedented speed.

Risk and Reward: Lizards Demonstrate Role of Natural Selection in Shaping Behavior

May 31, 2018
Tiny lizards in the Bahamas are providing scientists with new insights into evolution in isolated environments. In a new paper in the journal Science, biologists analyzed the risk-taking actions of the brown anole (Anolis sagrei) to better understand how animal behavior is influenced by natural selection.

Bacteria of the Flies: Tracing the Spread of Disease-Controlling Wolbachia

March 09, 2018
In a study appearing in Current Biology, Michael Turelli, distinguished professor of genetics in the Department of Evolution and Ecology, and his colleagues traced the spread of closely related Wolbachia across Drosophila fly species. They found that while the flies evolutionarily diverged tens of millions of years ago, their Wolbachia bacteria diverged only tens of thousands of years ago.

It’s Good to Be Rare, for Some Species

December 12, 2017
When most people think of rare species, they think of endangered ones that humans have caused to be rare through habitat loss, poaching, climate change and other disturbances. But some species have always been rare — occurring in small densities throughout their range — throughout their evolutionary history.

Long-Lived: Remembering Melvin Green, A UC Davis Genetics Pioneer

December 11, 2017
Melvin M. Green, distinguished professor emeritus of molecular and cellular biology, was a geneticist and member of the National Academy of Sciences. Green co-founded the historic UC Davis Genetics Department (now part of the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology). He passed away on Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2017, at the age of 101.

Fly Genomes Provide Clues to Parallel Evolution

November 27, 2017
In a paper appearing in PLOS Genetics, Professor David Begun, Department of Evolution and Ecology in the UC Davis College of Biological Sciences, compared the genomes of different fly species to understand how genes—both within and between species—evolve adaptively. He found that two fly species that diverged from a common ancestor some 50 million years ago, exhibited parallel evolution on both short- and long-term timescales.