The 85th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (2016)


Paleogenomics interpretation of admixture between polar bears and brown bears

JAMES A. CAHILL1, PETER HEINTZMAN1, MATTHEW TEASDALE2, ANDRE E. RODRIGUES SORES,1, JOSHUA KNAPP1, CEIRIDWEN J. EDWARDS3, IAN M. STIRLING4, DANIEL G. BRADLEY2, RICHARD E. GREEN5 and BETH SHAPIRO1.

1Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Californa, Santa Cruz, 2Smurfit Institute of Genetics, Trinity College, University of Dublin, 3Biological Sciences, University of Huddersfield, 4Wildlife Research Division, Department of Environment, Edmonton, AB, Canada, 5Biomolecular Engineeering and Bioinformatics, University of Californa, Santa Cruz

April 14, 2016 9:45, Imperial Ballroom B Add to calendar

A number of recent studies have revealed significant admixture between polar bears (Ursus maritimus) and brown bears (Ursus arctos). These closely related but ecologically divergent species, provide a potentially powerful model system for investigating how climate and ecological niche divergence mediate admixture. Using both modern and paleo-genomic analysis we will investigate the asymmetric impact of hybridization on these species gene pools. We will examine the temporal signature of admixture events, to show how genetically intermediate populations may arise in zones of admixture, and then once admixture ends in an area, return to relatively low levels of introgressed ancestry. Finally, we will explore the role of the rapid climate warming after the Last Glacial Maximum in promoting admixture between polar bears and brown bears.