The Grosberg Lab
College of Biological Sciences
Center for Population Biology
4349 Storer Hall
(530) 752-1114
rkgrosberg@ucdavis.edu

 

 

> Research Interests & Current Projects
Community genetics of the Pacific Coast of North America


It remains a matter of considerable debate for both ecologists and evolutionary biologists whether history plays an important role in present-day patterns of distribution and abundance, and the nature and outcomes of organisms’ interactions with their environments. With support from the Mellon Foundation, and in collaboration with the Packard-supported Partnership for Interdisciplinary Studies of the Coastal Ocean (PISCO), former postdoc John Wares, former grad student Rob Toonen, and I are examining the relationship between local and regional-scale variation in recruitment of sessile intertidal invertebrates and genetic structure.

We've initially focused on a major recruitment break in the acorn barnacle Balanus glandula at Cape Blanco, Oregon. Although adult B. glandula are abundant throughout California and Oregon, juvenile recruitment rates north of Cape Blanco typically exceed by several orders of magnitude rates to the south. We are using mitochondrial, microsatellite, and other nuclear markers to determine whether this recruitment break leaves a detectable genetic signature. In addition, we are expanding our genetic analysis to include other species with similar life histories, so that we gain a community-wide perspective on the role of past and present dispersal in governing community structure and species interactions.

 

 
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