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Stories from unwanted travellers – the history of the world according to stowaway mice

Джереми Сирл (J B Searle), Корнелский университет, Итака, США.The Searle lab focuses on the evolutionary biology of several species of small mammals as they are perfect for understanding how species evolve, colonize new areas, and adapt to the environment. Additionally, we use them as trackers of human history and as models for conservation. The research in my lab has involved various aspects of the evolutionary biology of animals, particularly small mammals.There has been a focus on speciation using chromosomal races of the house mouse and common shrew as model systems. Natural hybrid zones have been a particularly fruitful field of study with instances where hybridizing races speciate, generate new races or show localized reduction in gene flow as revealed by genomic tools. It is important to know the geographic context of the speciating forms, and this is one reason why the lab is engaged in molecular phylogeographic studies. I am also interested in the construction of postglacial small mammal communities and have studied the natural colonization history of the European common shrew, pygmy shrew, bank vole, field vole, common vole, wood mouse and stoat (ermine), revealing a wide range of species- and lineage-specific responses in terms of source areas and pattern of spread. Unnatural colonization history (i.e., transport by humans) is also of interest to me, particularly the way that the phylogeography of small mammals transported by humans can inform about the history of the humans moving them. This archaeogenetic research has been a major extension of my evolutionary work.