Evolutionary genomics for conservation and biodiversity – Ismail Saglam

We had our last webinar on April 16th, given by Dr. Ismail Saglam from Hacettepe University. In this interesting session, we get to know more about evolutionary genomics, and how computational approaches can help us to study conservation and biodiversity. Ismail summarised common methods and questions in the area in general, and he also gave an insight into his research, done in collaboration with different labs in Turkey and US. In particular, he explained how genomics can help 1) to test different evolutionary models and understand the forces shaping the diversity, 2) to discover the evolutionary history of species to set conservation strategies, and 3) to understand the evolutionary basis of adaptation.

One of the most interesting comments for me was towards to the end, when he referred evolutionary genomics as an applied field. Most of us tend to consider evolutionary thinking as more of a philosophical way of approaching a biological phenomenon but no – he mentioned how most of the global problems like chronic complex diseases can be explained by the mismatch between phenotype and environment, and could be re-formulated as a question for evolutionary genomics. Although it was just a comment he shared at the end of presentation, I think it was an important one which made me rethink the importance of evolutionary biology education and the current funding schemes..

If you missed the live session, don’t worry – you can still watch it on youtube: https://youtu.be/PzRpvKu8GMk

We appreciate this enlightening webinar and thank Ismail on behalf of our community!!

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