Meeting Abstract

BERN.1  Saturday, Jan. 5  Bern Lecture: Synthesizing research on the adaptable snowbird: geographic variation, seasonality, and evolutionary endocrinology KETTERSON, Ellen D.; Indiana University

Evolutionary endocrinology explores the role of endocrine systems in adaptive evolution by relating hormones to phenotypes to fitness. Three key concepts include hormonal pleiotropy, phenotypic integration, and hormones as agents of change and stasis. The dark-eyed junco, a songbird species, has played historically important roles in our understanding of speciation and seasonality, and continues to provoke curiosity about what a species is and how populations respond to long- and short-term changes in the environment. This talk will consider how selection acts on experimentally induced and naturally varying hormonal phenotypes. It will also address the role of variation in hormonal signal strength and target sensitivity in accounting for varying degrees of phenotypic integration. Populations will be compared to assess the role of timing of reproduction and migration in population divergence, and recent examples of juncos entering novel habitats will demonstrate how endocrine-mediated plasticity can promote successful colonization and adaptation to changing environments. The contributions of many individuals will be highlighted and video clips will serve to illustrate birds, habitats, and history.