Symposium in the context of the International Conference on Island biology (La Réunion, 8-13 July 2019)
Synthesizing island biodiversity theory for community-wide genetic data
Hélène Morlon (CNRS, France) and Brent Emerson (CSIC, Spain)
Rapid developments in high-throughput DNA sequencing technologies are currently transforming island biodiversity research. The community-wide genetic datasets that are being accumulated offer unprecedented opportunities to integrate insights from ecological and evolutionary theory for a better understanding of island biodiversity dynamics. However, such a synthesis is currently hindered by insufficient coordination among empirical biologists and theoreticians. This symposium will bring together key researchers in the area of biodiversity modelling and theory and empirical island biologists who are currently collecting community-wide genetic data, with the aim to (i) review the main models and analytical tools available for studying island biodiversity dynamics from community-wide genetic data, (ii) identify the models and analytical tools that are missing for developing a unified theory of island biodiversity dynamics informed by community-wide genetic data, and (iii) devise a strategy for developing these models and analytical tools in future.
The symposium fits within the objectives of a European-funded Twinning Project entitled “Island Biodiversity Genomics” (iBioGen) that aims to unify data collection across Island Genomic Observatories and to develop models adapted to the interpretation of this data in order to improve our understanding of the processes that shape the diversity and dynamics of island communities. The symposium will be sponsored by iBioGen, which will cover partially the travel expenses of the speakers.