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Dr Bonnie Fraser

Dr Bonnie Fraser

Senior Lecturer

 3406

 Geoffrey Pope 219

 

Geoffrey Pope Building, University of Exeter , Stocker Road, Exeter, EX4 4QD, UK

The main goal of our research group is to investigate how adaptation to the local environment shapes evolution at the genomic level. The connections between genotype, phenotype, and selection are at the centre of evolutionary biology. By studying these connections, our research can begin to address fundamental questions in evolutionary biology. 

Our research focuses on the Trinidadian guppy (Poecilia reticulata), a fish that has long served as a model system for evolutionary and ecological research. We explore local adaptation in this system using an interdisciplinary approach that combines population genomics, quantitative genetics, behavioural ecology, and experimental evolution.

Qualifications

2004 BSc. Marine and Freshwater Biology, University of Guelph

2009 PhD Biology, University of Western Ontario

Career

2018 - present Senior Lecturer University of Exeter

2016 - 2018 Lecturer, University of Sussex

2011 - 2016 Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology

2009 - 2011 Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Florida State University and University of Toronto

Research

Research interests

Local adaptation in the Trinidadian guppy

Guppies in the Northern Mountain Range of Trinidad offer a natural laboratory for studying evolutionary change and the genetics of adaptation.  Waterfalls separate the rivers the guppies call home into downstream stretches, which contain many predators, and upstream stretches, where the guppies live relatively free of predation.  In response to this naturally replicated environmental gradient, guppies from low predation sites have evolved to be larger and more colourful, and to display less anti-predator behaviour.  We are exploring how this convergent evolution plays out at the genomic level, using a combination of population genomics, quantitative genetics, and laboratory evolution experiments. 

How do populations adapt to new environments?

The simple ecology of the guppy’s home streams in Trinidad allows for in situ experimental studies of adaptation.  Guppy populations that were moved from high predation to low predation sites have shown consistent and rapid evolutionary responses to reduced predation.  By examining genomic differences between experimental populations and their source populations, and between experimental populations established at different time points, we hope to learn more about which types of molecular changes are important in the process of adaptation. 

What maintains variation in natural populations?

Selection is expected to eliminate genetic diversity within populations.  Surprisingly, guppies exhibit high within-population genetic diversity for male body colour even though it is subject to strong natural and sexual selection.  Previous studies suggest that two different behavioural mechanisms might explain this unusual finding: (1) learned hunting behaviour by one of the guppy’s predators, the killifish Rivulus hartii, and (2) female mate choice for males with unfamiliar colour patterns.  We are using a combination of ecological, behavioural, and genomic data to test alternative hypotheses for the role of behaviour in maintaining variation in guppy colouration, and to identify the genes targeted by behaviour-mediated selection.

Key publications | Publications by category | Publications by year

Publications by category


Journal articles

Zhan L, Paterson IG, Fraser BA, Watson B, Bradbury IR, Nadukkalam Ravindran P, Reznick D, Beiko RG, Bentzen P (2017). megasat: automated inference of microsatellite genotypes from sequence data. Molecular Ecology Resources, 17(2), 247-256. Abstract.
K nstner A, Hoffmann M, Fraser BA, Kottler VA, Sharma E, Weigel D, Dreyer C (2016). The genome of the trinidadian guppy, Poecilia reticulata, and variation in the Guanapo population. PLoS ONE, 11(12). Abstract.
Fraser BA, Künstner A, Reznick DN, Dreyer C, Weigel D (2015). Population genomics of natural and experimental populations of guppies ( Poecilia reticulata ). Molecular Ecology, 24(2), 389-408.
Fraser BA, Janowitz I, Thairu M, Travis J, Hughes KA (2014). Phenotypic and genomic plasticity of alternative male reproductive tactics in sailfin mollies. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 281(1781). Abstract.
Sharma E, Künstner A, Fraser BA, Zipprich G, Kottler VA, Henz SR, Weigel D, Dreyer C (2014). Transcriptome assemblies for studying sex-biased gene expression in the guppy, Poecilia reticulata. BMC Genomics, 15(1). Abstract.
Fraser BA, Hughes KA, Tosh DN, Rodd FH (2013). The role of learning by a predator, Rivulus hartii, in the rare-morph survival advantage in guppies. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 26(12), 2597-2605. Abstract.
Fraser BA, Weadick CJ, Janowitz I, Rodd FH, Hughes KA (2011). Sequencing and characterization of the guppy (Poecilia reticulata) transcriptome. BMC Genomics, 12(1).
NEFF BD, FRASER BA (2010). A program to compare genetic differentiation statistics across loci using resampling of individuals and loci. Molecular Ecology Resources, 10(3), 546-550.
Fraser BA, Ramnarine IW, Neff BD (2010). Selection at the MHC class IIB locus across guppy (Poecilia reticulata) populations. Heredity, 104(2), 155-167. Abstract.
Fraser BA, Ramnarine IW, Neff BD (2010). TEMPORAL VARIATION AT THE MHC CLASS IIB IN WILD POPULATIONS OF THE GUPPY ( POECILIA RETICULATA ). Evolution
Fraser BA, Neff BD (2009). MHC class IIB additive and non-additive effects on fitness measures in the guppy Poecilia reticulata. Journal of Fish Biology, 75(9), 2299-2312. Abstract.
Fraser BA, Neff BD (2009). Parasite mediated homogenizing selection at the MHC in guppies. Genetica, 138(2), 273-278.
Fraser BA, Mandrak NE, McLaughlin RL (2005). Lack of morphological differentiation in eastern ( Rhinichthys atratulus ) and western ( Rhinichthys obtusus ) blacknose dace in Canada. Canadian Journal of Zoology, 83(11), 1502-1509.

Publications by year


2017

Zhan L, Paterson IG, Fraser BA, Watson B, Bradbury IR, Nadukkalam Ravindran P, Reznick D, Beiko RG, Bentzen P (2017). megasat: automated inference of microsatellite genotypes from sequence data. Molecular Ecology Resources, 17(2), 247-256. Abstract.

2016

K nstner A, Hoffmann M, Fraser BA, Kottler VA, Sharma E, Weigel D, Dreyer C (2016). The genome of the trinidadian guppy, Poecilia reticulata, and variation in the Guanapo population. PLoS ONE, 11(12). Abstract.

2015

Fraser BA, Künstner A, Reznick DN, Dreyer C, Weigel D (2015). Population genomics of natural and experimental populations of guppies ( Poecilia reticulata ). Molecular Ecology, 24(2), 389-408.

2014

Fraser BA, Janowitz I, Thairu M, Travis J, Hughes KA (2014). Phenotypic and genomic plasticity of alternative male reproductive tactics in sailfin mollies. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 281(1781). Abstract.
Sharma E, Künstner A, Fraser BA, Zipprich G, Kottler VA, Henz SR, Weigel D, Dreyer C (2014). Transcriptome assemblies for studying sex-biased gene expression in the guppy, Poecilia reticulata. BMC Genomics, 15(1). Abstract.

2013

Fraser BA, Hughes KA, Tosh DN, Rodd FH (2013). The role of learning by a predator, Rivulus hartii, in the rare-morph survival advantage in guppies. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 26(12), 2597-2605. Abstract.

2011

Fraser BA, Weadick CJ, Janowitz I, Rodd FH, Hughes KA (2011). Sequencing and characterization of the guppy (Poecilia reticulata) transcriptome. BMC Genomics, 12(1).

2010

NEFF BD, FRASER BA (2010). A program to compare genetic differentiation statistics across loci using resampling of individuals and loci. Molecular Ecology Resources, 10(3), 546-550.
Fraser BA, Ramnarine IW, Neff BD (2010). Selection at the MHC class IIB locus across guppy (Poecilia reticulata) populations. Heredity, 104(2), 155-167. Abstract.
Fraser BA, Ramnarine IW, Neff BD (2010). TEMPORAL VARIATION AT THE MHC CLASS IIB IN WILD POPULATIONS OF THE GUPPY ( POECILIA RETICULATA ). Evolution

2009

Fraser BA, Neff BD (2009). MHC class IIB additive and non-additive effects on fitness measures in the guppy Poecilia reticulata. Journal of Fish Biology, 75(9), 2299-2312. Abstract.
Fraser BA, Neff BD (2009). Parasite mediated homogenizing selection at the MHC in guppies. Genetica, 138(2), 273-278.

2005

Fraser BA, Mandrak NE, McLaughlin RL (2005). Lack of morphological differentiation in eastern ( Rhinichthys atratulus ) and western ( Rhinichthys obtusus ) blacknose dace in Canada. Canadian Journal of Zoology, 83(11), 1502-1509.

Bonnie_Fraser Details from cache as at 2018-11-18 06:46:57

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Postdoctoral researchers

  • Josephine Paris
  • James Whiting

Postgraduate researchers

  • Mijke Van Der Zee

Research Technicians

  • Paul Parsons

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