Jared joined the lab in 2011. His research is heavily field-based and focused on phylogenetics, population genetics, and understanding the mechanisms that help species maintain their distinct identities (e.g., hybridization and gene flow). His dissertation is focused on the South American Liolaemus fitzingerii group of lizards and investigates all of these subjects in detail. Below, you’ll find a breakdown of his dissertation chapters, which are funded in part by an NSF DDIG. In addition to his research on Liolaemus, Jared is currently working on projects with Mexican Sceloporus lizards and conservation genetics of Ascaphus truei in the North Cascades National Park.
Chapter 1: Species limits using sequence capture data in the Liolaemus fitzingerii group
For Chapter One of his dissertation, Jared collected sequence capture data (585 loci) for 32 individuals covering the known geographic range of the L. fitzingerii group. Because mitochondrial and nuclear SNP data (see Chapter 2 below) indicate contact zones and interspecific gene flow in this group, he is performing network and species tree analyses that accommodate gene flow to help delimit species in this group.
Chapter 2: Phylogeography of the L. fitzingerii group using SNPs
Chapter two involves a denser sampling of individuals and more loci (SNPs) for some formal phylogeographic hypothesis testing: were contact zones formed recently, or have they been around for a long time? To what extent did Pleistocene glaciations affect L. fitzingerii group populations?
Chapter 3: Comparative hybrid zone studies in the L. fitzingerii group
Jared densely sampled two putative hybrid zones in Chubut, Argentina during two separate trips in 2015. His analyses show an interesting pattern where two species both hybridize with two other species, providing a unique opportunity to study hybrid zones in a comparative manner. Ultimately, he hopes to understand the genomics behind what makes these species maintain their distinct evolutionary trajectories.
For more information, check out Jared’s website at www.mountainmanjared.com