Kathryn Grabenstein, a graduate student in the Taylor Lab, has received a Graduate Research Fellowship from the NSF for her dissertation project researching biodiversity and human-induced speciation/hybridization. Congratulations, Kathryn!
Asked to describe her proposed research, Kathryn had this to say:
"The seemingly stable web of biodiversity around us is, in actuality, in constant flux as 'species' seamlessly merge and diverge. I am interested in understanding how individuals' natural histories mediate this semi-permeable nature of species boundaries. Combining genomics and field studies, I hope to understand the underlying genetic components of speciation, how they translate to phenotypic differences, and, ultimately, how the relative forces of natural and sexual selection act upon these differences to maintain species boundaries. Additionally, I seek to assess how human-induced changes, such as global climate change and urbanization, can alter species' reproductive barriers to promote hybridization."