Storz to lecture Nov. 2 on genetic adaptation to high altitudes

Jay Storz
Jay Storz

Jay Storz, associate professor at the School of Biological Sciences, will present "Genetics of Adaptation to High-Altitude Hypoxia in Vertebrates" at 3:30 p.m., Nov. 2, in the Hardin Hall auditorium. His talk is part of the School of Natural Resources Fall Seminar Series.

High-altitude environments provide ideal testing grounds for investigations of mechanism and process in physiological adaptation. Storz will describe recent efforts to identify and characterize genetic mechanisms of physiological adaptation to high-altitude hypoxia in birds and small mammals. He will first describe efforts to identify mechanisms of hemoglobin adaptation to hypoxia in North American rodents and in Andean birds (passerines and hummingbirds).

These studies integrate evolutionary analyses of sequence variation with experimental studies of hemoglobin function to address questions about the genetics of adaptation. Storz and his team are assessing whether it is possible to predict which mutations (or which types of mutations) are most likely to contribute to adaptive evolutionary change.

Storz received a bachelor's in biology from the University of Colorado-Boulder in 1994, and an M.A. in 1997 and a Ph.D. in 2000, both from Boston University. He did post-doctoral research at Duke University and at the University of Tucson and joined UNL in 2005. Recent awards include the Outstanding Scientist Award from Sigma Xi at UNL in 2011, and UNL's T.O. Haas Faculty Award for Outstanding Research in 2009.

— Kelly Smith, School of Natural Resources

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