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From agriculture to urbanization to invasive species, humans have created novel evolutionary challenges for organisms across the globe. Perhaps one of the most widespread of these challenges is climate change, which pushes organisms past their physiological limits and can result in population decline or local extinction. With the increasing ease of genome sequencing in natural populations, genetic variation associated with climate has been uncovered in a wide variety of systems.
Organisms have developed remarkable specializations to sense and navigate their environments. Fish are able to detect predators and prey using a network of mechanosensory hair cells, called the lateral line, that are located on the surface of the skin. These cells detect disruptions in their surrounding fluid and convert mechanical information to electrical impulses that are relayed to the brain. The mechanosensory hair cells of the lateral line are both structurally and functionally similar to those of the inner ear that mediate hearing and balance.