Lecture “Processes That Affect Genetic Diversity”

By Staff Reports

(Victor Valley)–Dr. Anthony Metcalf will present a guest lecture, “Genetic diversity across southern California watersheds: DNA patterns in fish and amphibians give insight into population level and larger scale historical events,” at the San Bernardino County Museum in Redlands on Wednesday, June 22 at 7:30 p.m. This lecture is open to the public at no cost.

Dr. Metcalf is a professor of biology at California State University, San Bernardino. He earned his B. A. from Simon Frasier University in British Columbia and his B. S. and Ph. D. from the University of California, Riverside. “The broad focus of my research is molecular evolution and molecular ecology. I am interested both in the evolution of genes and the evolutionary history and ecology of the organisms that possess them,” said Metcalf. “I am also interested in regional geographic patterns of genetic variation across taxa. Interior coastal southern California has a high degree of endemism, generated, in part, by Pleistocene geologic activity. I am interested in how a suite of interrelated changes in landscape has effected the distribution of regional fauna, and how such changes are reflected in the patterns of genetic variation. A third area of interest is that of conservation genetics. The restricted distribution of regional fauna has caused several species to be listed as threatened or endangered. Information on the patterns of genetic variation in such species can be directly applied to conservation strategies.”

In his guest lecture, he will address his lab’s recent phylogeographic studies of animal taxa in California that have revealed common geographic patterns of evolutionary divergence and genetic diversity generally attributable to landscape influences. To learn more about the evolution of freshwater taxa in southern California, they investigated phylogeographic patterns in the stream-dwelling California tree frog (Pseudacris cadaverina) and a fresh water minnow, the Santa Ana speckled dace (Rhinichthys osculus). “Our results indicate that larger scale patterns of divergence have been superimposed over expected population level geographic differences based on stream and watershed,” said Metcalf. “These larger scale patterns reflect both colonization history and geologic processes. The population level and larger scale geographic patterns of variation suggest different management and conservation strategies.”

The San Bernardino County Museum is at the California Street exit from Interstate 10 in Redlands. For more information, visit www.sbcountymuseum.org. The museum is accessible to persons with disabilities. If assistive listening devices or other auxiliary aids are needed in order to participate in museum exhibits or programs, requests should be made through Museum Visitor Services at least three business days prior to your visit. Visitor Services’ telephone number is 909-307-2669 ext. 229 or (TDD) 909-792-1462.

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