In this episode, Matthew speaks with Swanne Gordon (@Swanne Gordon), Assistant Professor of Biology at Washington University in St. Louis.
They talk about diversity in both nature and in the biological sciences. The research focus of the conversation focuses on Swanne's experimental and modeling work to understand polymorphism among aposematic wood tiger moths, and the surprising outcomes that positive density dependent selection can have, when combined with migration between populations.
Then after the break they discuss the lack of racial and ethnic diversity in biological sciences, especially in evolutionary biology. Swanne describes her own experiences and identifies areas of progress and failure in our field. Then they close their conversation by discussing the benefits of increasing diversity in the model systems that we study.
This week's Two-Minute Takeaway comes from Dishari Dasgupta (@DishariDg), a PhD student at IISER Kolkata. Read Dishari's work on food preference of urban langurs here.
Media relevant to today's show:
1. Swanne's paper explaining the maintenance of polymorphism in wood tiger moths:
Gordon, S. P., Kokko, H., Rojas, B., Nokelainen, O., & Mappes, J. (2015). Colour polymorphism torn apart by opposing positive frequency‐dependent selection, yet maintained in space. Journal of Animal Ecology, 84(6), 1555-1564.
2. Duffy et al.'s call for greater diversity in model systems:
Duffy, M. A., García-Robledo, C., Gordon, S. P., Grant, N. A., Green, D. A., Kamath, A., ... & Zaman, L. (2021). Model systems in ecology, evolution, and behavior: A call for diversity in our model systems and discipline. The American Naturalist, 198(1), 53-68.
3. Swanne's EcoEvoSeminar Talk, from August 2020, discussing some of these results in more detail:
The Animal Behavior Podcast is created by a team of animal behavior researchers and audio professionals. Come meet us here! We receive production support from the Cornell Broadcast studio, directed by Bert Odom-Reed and financial support from the Animal Behavior Society.