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K-State Today

March 11, 2016

Division of Biology Seminar March 11

Submitted by Division of Biology

Kristi Montooth

Kristi Montooth, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, will present "Evolutionary Genetics of Energetics: Connecting the Evolution of Physiologies and Genomes" as part of the Division of Biology Seminar Series at 4 p.m. Friday, March 11, in 221 Ackert Hall.

The abstract for the lecture is based on organisms that have evolved diverse physiological strategies that enable life in nearly every corner of our planet, from the consistently hot and humid tropics, arid deserts and cold poles, to the highly variable temperate forests and tidal shores.

Montooth's lab aims to mechanistically dissect physiological responses to the environment in order to understand the complex gene-gene and gene-environment interactions that determine trait evolution, shape genomes, and give rise to tremendous physiological diversity across the tree of life.

Montooth will present research on energetic traits in mitochondrial-nuclear genotypes of Drosophila that illustrates how they use physiology as a focused, biologically informed lens to elucidate how genetic variants interact with the environment to determine fitness — a central question for understanding adaptive evolutionary change. Montooth will then show how this research led them to test predictions of a model of compensatory molecular evolution in the aminoacyl tRNA synthetase proteins. She will conclude by introducing a new project in the lab that focuses on ontogeny, plasticity and the membranes of metabolism. 

If you would like to visit with Montooth, contact Ted Morgan, tjmorgan@k-state.edu or 785-532-6126.