Mic Went Quiet

I’m not sure why it has been so long since I added to this... oh, right, two and a half weeks traveling in Chile, and a bunch of administrative tasks to clean up afterwards. I wanted to add a few things, though. First, while I was away (sadly) my evolution-comic-book-hero colleague Jay Hosler came to UGA to talk about his work; the presentation (including my remote introduction) is available here and if you aren’t already familiar with Jay’s work I highly recommend starting with Sandwalk Adventures!

Beyond that, we have been collecting data on the Chilean barnacle cline and two fairly shocking things have come up. First, it is now clear that our hypothesis (that justified the travel to northern Patagonia in the first place) was totally correct: the 42° biogeographic break is of first-order importance for the pattern of mitochondrial diversity in Notochthamalus. Second, the two lineages of Notochthamalus... well, they are basically two species.

This latter understanding comes from some medium-throughput SNP genotyping we have done this spring, and analysis of those genotypes suggests that most individuals have a nuclear background consistent with the far north, or the far south, with little hybridization or introgression. More details to come soon, but this result is a bit of a downer. I had thought we were going to be chasing interesting patterns of cytonuclear disequilibrium and considering incipient speciation or the first steps toward speciation, or just a strong selection-driven cline. Instead, it is just high-tech biogeography, in a sense. It will still be cool, we have big plans for the paper. It is just not what I expected, and of course attachment is the cause of much suffering, in a Buddhist sense!