ProjectMicrogeographic Divergence of Darwin's Finches
Traditional evolutionary theory has long asserted that adaptive divergence is unlikely to occur over fine spatial scales, as gene flow is expected to limit the effects of selection. However, with the advent of the concept of microgeographic divergence, the assumptions of classical evolutionary theory are being increasingly questioned. Little research has investigated the spatial scope of microgeographic divergence, particularly amongst highly dispersing terrestrial organisms. For my graduate work, I will be investigating microgeographic divergence within the medium ground finch (Geospiza fortis) population of El Garrapatero (Isla Santa Cruz, Galapagos). By testing for genetic and morphological microspatial sorting, this study will provide insight into the ecological implications of microgeographic divergence and the spatial scale to which it applies, while reevaluating classical evolutionary theory.