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le jeudi 28 novembre à 13:00

Marta Szulkin - Wild Urban Evolution & Ecology Lab (Centre of New Technologies, University of Warsaw)

Salle FONTANNES, batiment Darwin D

par Vincent Daubin - 28 novembre 2019

doorstep : urban ecology and evolution

The world’s human population is still growing and the United Nations predict that by 2050, 7 out of 10 people will be living in urban areas. Urban space is thus of intrinsic interest to humans worldwide, biologists included. But virtually all long-term studies of vertebrates investigated in the wild and used as cornerstone in evolutionary ecology research were started in natural environments with little human interference. In contrast, urban space is an environment with radically altered ecological dynamics relative to original natural habitat. Here, I will present evidence collected in my lab illustrating the profound effects of urbanisation on the life of wild passerines, investigated at two distinct spatial scales :
First, I will show how city life affects phenotype and fitness in a gradient of urbanisation in the city of Warsaw, Poland. Second, I will discuss the concept that urban environments represent globally replicated, large-scale disturbances to the landscape providing an ideal opportunity to study parallel evolution in natural populations on a large scale. By using great tits (Parus major) and blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) as study systems, I will present data on the effect of urbanisation on ecotoxicology, biometric and genomic variation, measured in a replicated framework of 8 cities. Finally, I will close off by discussing how cities represent a fascinating frontier for investigating parallel evolution across the Tree of Life, enhancing our understanding of how adaptation proceeds in natural populations worldwide.