Thursday, December 3, 2020 - 3:30pm to 4:30pm
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OEB Seminar

Sharlene E. Santana, Associate Professor, University of Washington and Curator of Mammals, Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, will present “Why Are Bats So Diverse? Integrating Macroevolutionary and Ecomorphological Studies to Understand the Bat Radiation."

The adaptation to new diets is considered a major evolutionary driver of anatomical, behavioral and species diversity in mammals, but few quantitative studies have tested the impact of dietary evolution on morphological and species diversification across whole mammalian Orders. Bats are an ideal system to investigate this topic because they are exceptionally diverse in terms of number of species, skull morphology, diet, and sensory modalities used to locate food. In this talk, Dr. Santana will present two major areas of research in her lab that have allowed us to understand the patterns and mechanisms of bat diversification: analyses of cranial macroevolution across the bat radiation, and the coevolution between fruit bats and their mutualistic plants. These studies will highlight how a combination of sensory and dietary functions shaped the evolution of bat skull diversity through the modification of intrinsic mechanisms and functional adaptation, as well as the importance of bat sensory biases as agents of evolutionary change on their food resources.

Contact Name: 

Wendy Heywood

Research Areas: 

Harvard University
Center for the Environment

Address: 26 Oxford Street, 4th Floor, Cambridge
Phone: (617) 495-0368

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