Sep 25 2018

E&E Seminar: Figs, pollinators, and parasites: co-diversification in deep and shallow time, John D. Nason, Iowa State University

September 25, 2018

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM


4289 SEL


840 West Taylor St., Chicago, IL 60607

Dr. John D. Nason, Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology, Iowa State University.

Figs and their fig wasp pollinators and parasites have co-evolved for ~90 million years to become both highly diverse (>750 species of figs) and ecologically important “keystone” components of tropical forest ecosystems. My talk will describe a new collaborative effort to significantly clarify the processes underlying both the diversification of figs and fig wasps, and their ecological interactions. The research is employing phylogenomic approaches to: 1) obtain well-resolved evolutionary trees for associated Central American fig and fig wasp species, 2) identify subsets of fig species that, unexpectedly, share pollinators and may be hybridizing, and 3) link hybridization of figs to changes in the floral “perfumes” used to attract pollinators, and which are also exploited by a diversity of parasites to locate host plants. Because this project includes numerous fig and fig wasp species, it provides the broad frame of reference needed to gain an in depth understanding of the biological and chemical mechanisms underlying the pattern and process of co-diversification across interacting fig and wasp linages.

Faculty Host: Jer Pin Chong/Mary Ashley


Suzanne Harrison

Date posted

Jul 26, 2018

Date updated

Aug 31, 2018