Dr Cynthia Riginos
One of the fundamental differences between marine and terrestrial animals is that the lifecycles of marine animals frequently include a planktonic larval stage. The capacity for widespread movement during the planktonic stage has extremely important implications for understanding both the ecology and evolution of marine animals. For example, where and how far do larvae go? How are adult populations genetically connected both over short and long time scales? How can populations become adapted to particular environments if gene flow is extensive? How are new species formed? I study these issues in coral reef animals and temperate blue mussels.
Major research themes of my lab group:
Connectivity across land and seascapes – How do habitat landscapes affect movements of individuals and genes? Can we identify source populations in order to prioritize areas for conservation?Biological invasions, historical and modern – What factors facilitate species expanding their ranges and colonizing new habitat? How do colonizing populations adapt to novel environments?Speciation, hybridization, and the evolution of reproductive genes – Why are some types of genes more or less likely to be exchanged between populations and species? Why are reproductive genes under strong natural selection and does this contribute to reproductive isolation?
Mirams AG, Treml EA, Shields J, Liggins L, and C. Riginos. 2011. Vicariance and dispersal across an intermittent barrier: population genetic structure of marine animals across the Torres Strait land bridge. Coral Reefs. In press
Riginos C, Douglas KE, Jin Y , Shanahan DF, and EA Treml. 2011. Effects of geography and life history traits on genetic differentiation in benthic marine fishes. Ecography. 34: 566-575.
Shanahan DF, Possingham HP, and C Riginos. 2011. Models based on individual level movement predict spatial patterns of genetic relatedness for two Australian forest birds. Landscape Ecology 26: 137-148.
David GK, Marshall DJ, and C. Riginos. 2010. Latitudinal variability in spatial genetic structure in the invasive ascidian, Styela plicata. Marine Biology. 157:1955-1965.
Bongaerts P, Riginos C, Ridgway T, Sampayo EM, van Oppen MJH, Englebert N, Vermeulen F, and O Hoegh-Guldberg. 2010. Genetic divergence across habitats in the widespread coral Seriotopora hystrix and its associated Symbiodinium. PLOSOne. e10871.
Coral reef connectivity: an empirical and theoretical synthesis (to C. Riginos and H. P. Possingham)
Grant Body: Australian Research Council
Grant Period: 2008-2011