Treub symposium 2018

Treub Maatschappij – Society for the Advancement of Research in the Tropics & Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED), University of Amsterdam

Biodiversity and global change in the Tropics

Coordinators: Carina Hoorn & W. Daniel Kissling

Thursday 15 November 2018


1330-1345 Opening
1345-1415 Robert-Jan Wille (History Department, Utrecht University)

1415-1445 Sancia E.T. van der Meij (Marine Evolutionary Ecology, University of Groningen)

1445-1515 Alex de Meyer (MSc Student University of Amsterdam – Treub Travel Fund awardee)

1515-1545 TEA BREAK

1545-1645 Christine D. Bacon (Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Gothenburg, Sweden)

1645-1800 Drinks

Biosketches and abstracts

Dutch colonial science in the age of Melchior Treub: evolution, development and symbiosis as political and scientific themes in the late nineteenth century

Robert-Jan Wille is historian of science and politics at the history department of Utrecht University. This Fall will see the publication of his monography on late nineteenth century biology and politics in the Dutch empire and their national lobby for more laboratories in the field: Mannen van de microscoop. De laboratoriumbiologie op veldtocht, 1840-1910 (Vantilt).

Cospeciation on tropical coral reefs

Sancia van der Meij is an Assistant professor in Marine Evolutionary Ecology at the University of Groningen. She is interested in all aspects related to the origin and diversity of associated fauna on tropical coral reefs. As a model taxon she mostly works on coral-dwelling gall crabs (Cryptochiridae), with forays into other invertebrate taxa. Prior to her position in Groningen she worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Oxford in the UK. She did her PhD degree at Naturalis Biodiversity Center and Leiden University.

A (re)discovery of Ecuador’s Natural Beauties: validating physical and geographical data

Alex de Meyer is a 2nd years Masters student (Ecology and Evolution) at the University of Amsterdam. He obtained his bachelors degree in Future Planet Studies at the UvA where he developed an increasing interest in sustainability and global biogeography. He did research on the influence of environmental aspects on the presence of mosquito larvae to reduce nuisance in a plague-infested area. His aim is to reduce global warming through sustainable consumption and to improve conservation efforts on a global scale to minimize biodiversity loss.

The road to evolutionary success: insights from Mauritia flexuosa

Abstract: Mauritia flexuosa has one of the widest distributions of all palms, covering millions of hectares across northern South America, where it forms extensive, high-density stands. How does a species reach this wide distribution and high abundance in the face of strong competition in hyperdiverse tropical forests, as well as persist through the extreme landscape and climate changes throughout the Cenozoic (last ca. 65 mya)? Evolutionary success is related to historical contingency, genetic variation, and demography. Here, I present a robust approach to understanding diversification in the tribe Lepidocaryeeae, showing how clade competition contributed to persistence through geological time. Within the Mauritia lineage, I show extinction patterns using the pollen fossil record, leading to low species diversity in the genus. I also review how climatic change during the Quaternary influenced the extant demography and distribution of M. flexuosa. Mauritia flexuosa presents significant genetic differentiation among different river basins and between the Amazonian and Cerrado biomes. Touching on environmental correlations across the genome, I conclude by contrasting adaptive selection with genomic plasticity. Our work provides new insights into the historical factors that affected geographical distribution and structured genetic diversity, contributing to long-term evolutionary success.

Biography: Christine Bacon is an Assistant professor in the Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Gothenburg, Sweden and associate researcher the CES University in Medellín, Colombia. She did her PhD in Colorado in the USA, one post-doc at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute with Carlos Jaramillo and another with Alexandre Antonelli, at her current institution. Christine’s research is focused on two main themes: palm systematics and evolution, and major global biogeographic barriers and patterns. She has worked extensively on Neotropical plant diversity and routinely conducts field work in Brazil and Colombia.