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CMK - Centrum voor milieukunde UHasselt


CMK  - Centrum voor milieukunde UHasselt

Logo UHasselt Universiteit Hasselt - Knowledge in action


Research Seminar Celine Kowalczyk


17 mrt 2017 16.00 uur - 18.00 uur

Campus Diepenbeek - Auditorium H1

Population genomics of the European Nightjar (Caprimulgus europaeus)

Population genomic analyses provide valuable insights into the evolution, ecology and conservation genetics of populations and species. Modern advances in sequencing techniques now make it possible to genotype thousands of genetic markers at a reasonable cost for any given species, including non-model organisms, which has revolutionized the field of population genomics.

The European Nightjar (Caprimulgus europaeus) is a nocturnal Afro-Palearctic migrant. It has undergone historical population declines across Europe, mostly due to habitat loss and fragmentation. Moreover, this species encompasses 6 subspecies whose validity is often questioned because of clinal variation and intergradation.

This project aims to describe genetic variation within and among populations of Nightjars and determine population structure at different spatial scales. We will investigate the processes that shape genetic diversity such as genetic drift, gene flow, natural selection and demographic history. We also intend to unravel the evolutionary relationships of the 6 subspecies using both molecular and morphological data.

To do so, c. 300 DNA samples were collected in 9 Western European countries in 2016. Sixty-four samples, mostly from Belgium, were processed for Restriction site-Associated DNA sequencing (RADseq). A few samples from remote European populations were also included. Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) will be detected and we will use this dataset as a starting point to obtain the first assessment of the population connectivity in Nightjars in Belgium and, at a broader scale, in Europe.