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Towards a Behavioural Ecological Perspective of Population Genetic Processes: Insights from Rangatira Black Robin and Florida Scrub Jay

Upload ID 147 Raazesh Sainudiin (University of Canterbury)

Starts: 12:00 PM, Jul 23, 2015
Ends: 01:00 PM, Jul 23, 2015


This talk has three parts. In part 1, I will summarize the core concepts underpinning "Killing with kindness", New Scientist, 2014 (, a popular version of "Human-Assisted Spread of a Maladaptive Behavior in a Critically Endangered Bird", PLoS One, 2013 ( I will give a visual summary of a behaviourally-informed spatio-temporal population pedigree of the Black Robins of Rangatira and set the stage for part 2. [25-30 minutes with discussion]

In part 2, I will summarize by pictures the ideas in a recent theoretical unification of previously disparate population genetic processes that underpin modern population genetic/genomic models and methods: (1) Kingman's coalescent trees, (2) Chang's population pedigrees and (3) Griffiths' and Hudson's ancestral recombination graphs ( [10 minutes with discussion]

In part 3, I will sketch a novel 'ecological pedigree process' that builds on part 2 and aims to introduce behavioural ecological parameters, such as, monogamy, patrilocality and cooperativity into population pedigree processes using the Florida Scrub Jay, a cooperative breeder that has been intensively studied in the field for over four decades with full genome sequences of the whole population currently underway, as the guiding example. This is work in progress. [10 minutes with discussion]


Part 1 is joint work with Don Merton (DOC, NZ) and Jim Briskie, Marie Hale, Melanie Massaro & Anthony Poole (SBS, UC, NZ). Part 2 is joint work with Bhalchandra Thatte (Departamento de Matemática, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brazil) and Amandine Veber (Centre de Mathématiques Appliquées, École Polytechnique, France). Part 3 is current joint work with Amandine Veber, John Fitzpatrick (Cornell Lab of Ornithology, USA), Nancy Chen and Andrew Clark (Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Cornell University, USA).


Raazesh Sainudiin was supported for parts 1 and 2 by (a) Research Chair in Mathematical Models of Biodiversity held by Veolia Environnement, French National Museum of Natural History, Paris and Centre for Mathematics and its Applications, Ecole Polytechnique, Palaiseau, France, (b) College of Engineering Sabbatical grant 2014 and (c) Consulting revenues from Wynyard Group.

Introduced by Jim Briskie



School of Biological Sciences

Biology Seminar Room 275