Guest lecturer connects arctic bird coloration to climate change


Share
Posted Online: April 18, 2011, 1:36 pm
Comment on this story | Print this story | Email this story
Press release submitted by Augustana College

Rock Island, Ill. –Dr. Jeff Johnson will discuss the effects of climate change on the arctic animal kingdom on Thursday, April 28, at 7 p.m. in the John Deere Planetarium Auditorium (820 38th St.). The Center for Polar Studies lecture, entitled "Adaptive Significance of White Plumage Color in High Arctic Gyrfalcons," is free and open to the public.

Dr. Johnson's research involves studying color differences among gyrfalcons living in the world's arctic and sub-Antarctic regions. Color variations within species often have a strong genetic component, so studying the differences can provide important clues about how the species has evolved over time. By understanding the genetics behind physical traits like feather color, scientists can predict how climate change might affect arctic animals in other ways in the future.

"An important question in the debate on the ecological effects of climate change is whether species will be able to adapt fast enough to keep up with their changing environment," said Dr. Johnson. "Knowing the evolutionary processes that had led to the current gyrfalcon distribution will help us predict how the species may respond to challenges in the future."

He holds an M.S. in zoology from North Carolina State University and a Ph.D. in biology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Currently, Dr. Johnson works as an assistant professor of biological sciences at the University of North Texas, where he is part of the sub-Antarctic ecosystems and bio-cultural conservation research cluster. He is interested in evolution and conservation biology, especially the adaptive significance of genetic diversity and the effects of increased population fragmentation and isolation.

This lecture is sponsored by the Augustana Center for Polar Studies and funded through the Augustana Institute for Leadership and Service.

For more information, contact Kamy Beattie at kamybeattie@augustana.edu or (309) 794-7721.

About Augustana: Founded in 1860 and situated on a 115-acre campus near the Mississippi River, Augustana College is a private, liberal arts institution affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). The college enrolls 2,500 students from diverse geographic, social, ethnic and religious backgrounds and offers more than 70 majors and related areas of study. Augustana employs 287 faculty members and has a student-faculty ratio of 11:1. Augustana continues to do what it has always done: challenge and prepare students for lives of leadership and service in our complex, ever-changing world.






















 



Local events heading








  Today is Monday, Oct. 20, the 293rd day of 2014. There are 72 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: The store of Devoe and Crampton was entered and robbed of about $500 worth of gold pens and pocket cutlery last night.
1889 -- 125 years ago: Michael Malloy was named president of the Tri-City Stone Cutters Union.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Dewitte C. Poole, former Moline newspaperman serving as vice consul general for the United States government in Paris, declared in a letter to friends that the once gay Paris is a city of sadness and desolation.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Plans for the construction of an $80,000 wholesale bakery at 2011 4th Ave. were announced by Harry and Nick Coin, of Rock Island. It is to be known as the Banquet Bakery.
1964 -- 50 years ago: An application has been filed for a state permit to organize a savings and loan association in Moline, it was announced. The applicants are Ben Butterworth, A.B. Lundahl, C. Richard Evans, John Harris, George Crampton and William Getz, all of Moline, Charles Roberts, Rock Island, and Charles Johnson, of Hampton.
1989 -- 25 years ago: Indian summer is quickly disappearing as temperatures slide into the 40s and 50s this week. Last week, highs were in the 80s.


(More History)