Dr. Kara Layton

Invite to Dr. Kara Layton's Seminar, April 5, 11am, KN130

You are invited to Dr. Kara Layton's Seminar, April 5, 2023, from 11am-12pm, KN130.


Dr. Kara Layton, Lecturer (Assistant Professor), School of Biological Sciences, University of Aberdeen

From pattern to process: probing molluscan biodiversity, phylogeny and evolution across scales and systems


Genomic tools have revolutionized the field of systematics biology and transformed our knowledge of organismal diversity across evolutionary scales, but this work is still in its infancy for invertebrates. In this talk I discuss how to unify phylogenomics and evolutionary genomics to accelerate understanding of invertebrate biodiversity and systematics, showcasing my work in molluscs. First, I utilize novel sequence capture datasets to resolve both deep and shallow relationships in nudibranch gastropods and use this framework to probe the evolution of complex traits, including colour pattern and chemical defence. Then, I discuss my group’s work using low-coverage whole genome sequencing to investigate local adaptation and forecast climate change response in endangered freshwater mussels. Together, this talk highlights the utility of integrating multiple omics datasets for advancing our understanding of molluscan, and more generally, invertebrate systematics and evolution in both fundamental and applied contexts.


I received my BSc and MSc in the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of Guelph, and my PhD in the Centre for Evolutionary Biology at the University of Western Australia. I then completed a postdoctoral fellowship through the Ocean Frontier Institute and the Bedford Institute of Oceanography in Nova Scotia. I now lead a research group in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Aberdeen with interests in invertebrate biology, systematics and phylogenomics, molecular ecology and evolutionary and ecological genomics.

Dr. Kara Layton poster