Morphological Variation in Populations of Threespine Stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) in the Reed College Canyon
author: Meng Qi
advisor: Bob Kaplan
ABSTRACT:Adaptive radiation is the divergence of many descendant lineages from one ancestral line. This thesis will examine if adaptive radiation can be observed in a threespine stickleback population in the Reed Canyon. Threespine sticklebacks, one of the primary model organisms in evolutionary biology, have been shown to be capable of rapid evolution and divergence from a marine ancestor into many descendent freshwater lineages. There is a population of threespine sticklebacks in the Reed Canyon which is separated into three geographically distinct sub-populations within the canyon, and are located in three ponds that are almost completely isolated from each other. This provides a perfect opportunity to study evolutionary divergence and its effects on adaptive radiation.