[S33] Urban evolution

Many important questions in evolutionary biology infer patterns and processes related to phenotypic variation in a natural setting. Hence, 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 or no human interference. However, currently urban areas cover 0.5% of the planet’s land area and are predicted to expand up to 12 times between 2000 and 2050. As urban space is an environment with conspicuously altered ecological dynamics relative to original natural habitats, more insight into the evolutionary biology of free-living animals in urban environments is needed. Many species have readily adapted to urban life, but this realized adaptation and the current selection pressures leading to future adaptation have hardly been studied. At the same time, there is growing evidence that genetic differences can be identified in gradient of urbanisation, suggesting scope for important eco-evolutionary feedbacks of which we only have limited knowledge. We welcome abstracts for talks and posters reporting theoretical and / or empirical work contributing to our understanding of urban evolution – an important yet still understudied research theme, and a unique opportunity to study evolution in action.
Organizers: Anne Charmantier, Marta Szulkin
Invited speakers: Caroline Isaksson, Jason Munshi-South