Events / Biology Seminar Series: Marc Johnson

Biology Seminar Series: Marc Johnson

October 24, 2019
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Levin Auditorium, 425 S. University Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19104

Marc Johnson
Department of Biology
University of Toronto


The Evolution of Life in the Urban Jungle


Urban areas represent the fastest growing ecosystem on earth, in which the development of cities dramatically changes the biotic and abiotic environment to create novel ecosystems. Despite the importance of urbanization, we have little understanding of how urbanization affects the evolution of species that live in cities. In this talk, I will discuss the most current science about how cities are affecting evolution in plants and animals, from elevating mutation rates to driving novel adaptions, to giving rise to new species through the process of urban driven speciation. I will then describe our research on a single model organisms, white clover, in which we have investigated whether urbanization affects natural selection, genetic drift, and gene flow. We are currently extending this work to understand if urbanization throughout the world is leading to convergent evolution at a global scale. I will co