Marjorie Matocq, University of Nevado Reno
When closely related lineages that are not completely reproductively isolated from one another come into secondary contact, a number of ecological and genetic interactions may occur that can substantially change the evolutionary trajectory of these lineages. My group has been focused on identifying the behavioral and ecological factors that determine the amount of gene flow or introgression that occurs when closely related species of woodrats (genus Neotoma) come into secondary contact. Here, I report on a number of our past and ongoing projects that, together, begin to capture the range of pre- and post-zygotic isolating mechanisms that contribute to the potential for introgression between species of woodrats. Our current investigations focus on the role of dietary adaptations and the role they may play in determining rates of interspecific gene flow.