Eco-Evolutionary Dynamics

Are community dynamics influenced by natural selection on the traits of drilling snails ( Nucella canaliculata )? Photo: Eric Sanford.

Are community dynamics influenced by natural selection on the traits of drilling snails (Nucella canaliculata)? Photo: Eric Sanford.

One of the most exciting developments in biology over the last decade has been the growing awareness that contemporary evolutionary processes have a far greater influence on ecological processes than has been generally appreciated.  The emerging field of eco-evolutionary dynamics explores whether variation in environmental conditions over relatively short timescales imposes selection on populations with consequences for ecological dynamics.  With funding from the National Science Foundation, we are currently investigating links among oceanographic variation, natural selection on the phenotypes of drilling snails (Nucella canaliculata), and species interactions within rocky intertidal communities.

Selected Publications

Kroeker, K.J.,  E. Sanford, J.M. Rose, C.A. Blanchette, F. Chan, F.P. Chavez, B. Gaylord, B. Helmuth, T.M. Hill, G.E. Hofmann, M.A. McManus, B.A. Menge, K.J. Nielsen, P.T. Raimondi, A.D. Russell, and L. Washburn.  2016. Interacting environmental mosaics drive geographic variation in mussel performance and predation vulnerability. Ecology Letters, doi: 10.1111/ele.12613

Sanford, E. and D.J. Worth.  2010.  Local adaptation along a continuous coastline: prey recruitment drives differentiation in a predatory snail.  Ecology 91: 891–901.

Sanford, E. and D.J. Worth.  2009.  Genetic differences among populations of a marine snail drive geographic variation in predation.  Ecology 90: 3108–3118.

Sanford, E., M.S. Roth, G.C. Johns, J.P. Wares, and G.N. Somero.  2003.  Local selection and latitudinal variation in a marine predator-prey interaction.  Science 300: 1135–1137.