Environmental Stress and Adaptation

The speed and magnitude of climate change poses a major challenge for biodiversity conservation and natural resource management in both aquatic and terrestrial environments. Our oceans are facing rising ocean temperatures, increasing acidification, and changing ocean currents. While terrestrial ecosystems are facing increases in the frequency and severity of extreme weather events, including droughts and fires. The effects of climate change are heightened by factors such as habitat fragmentation and invasive species. Together these changes are causing fundamental and irreversible ecological transformations at local and global scales, compromising environmental, socio-economic and cultural values.

Our group is particularly active in the area of environmental stress and adaptation research, using genomic, experimental, and modelling based approaches to better understand the environmental resilience of animal and plant species. These approaches allow us to profile risks associated with environmental change, and to investigate the potential roles of dispersal, physical tolerance and evolutionary adaptation in helping species combat these risks. Our research outputs are used to assist the development of adaptive management solutions aimed at maximizing the resilience of species in need of intervention. We work on a variety of model systems spanning biodiversity from marine, terrestrial and alpine environments and in close partnership with government, industry, NGOs and community groups.

Published Work

Miller AD, Coleman MA, Clarke J, Cook R, Naga Z, Doblin M, Hoffmann AA, Sherman CDH, Bellgrove A (2020) Local thermal adaptation and limited gene flow constrain future climate responses of a marine ecosystem engineer. Evolutionary Applications. DOI: 10.1111/eva.12909

Adam D. Miller, Craig Nitschke, Andrew Weeks, William Weatherly, et al. (2020) Genetic data and climate niche suitability models highlight the vulnerability of a functionally important tree species from south-eastern Australia. Evolutionary Applications (accepted).

Miller AD, Hoffmann AA, Tan MH, Young M, Ahrens C, Cocomazzo M, Rattray A, Ierodiaconou DA, Treml E, Sherman CDH (2019) Local and regional scale habitat heterogeneity contribute to genetic adaptation in a commercially important mollusc. Molecular Ecology. 28: 3053– 3072.

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