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Suvi Ponnikas

Postdoctoral fellow | PhD

I did my Ph.D in University of Oulu, Finland, where I studied the factors affecting population viability in threatened bird species using population genetics and distribution modelling approaches.

Currently I work as a postdoc in a project studying sex chromosome evolution. Besides sex determination itself, sex chromosomes (SCs) play potential role in sexual selection and speciation, which makes them appealing study system for many research questions in evolutionary biology. I’m interested in the relationship between sexual selection and sex chromosome evolution. Faster rates in sequence evolution in SCs relative to autosomes have been observed in many species, but the reasons behind it remain unclear. Our study system, the Sylvioidea passerines is a species-rich clade with extensive variation in mating system and sexual dimorphism. It thus provides an ideal opportunity for exploring the association between strength of sexual selection (indicated by sexual dimorphism) and rate of SC evolution. 

I’ll be furter studying the evolution of SCs in terms of recombination cessation, gene degeneration, sex-biased gene expression and dosage compensation. I'm especially interested in recombination suppression that is the initial reason behind many of the unique characteristics of SC's such as the gene loss and degeneration of sex-limited chromosome. The central question is how and why the recombination is suppressed in SCs. The group has detected a neo-sex chromosome (neo-SC) in Sylvioidea passerine birds that has been formed by a fusion between an autosome and the ancestral sex chromosomes. Typically, the detailed analyses on vertebrate XY and ZW sex chromosome systems has been limited due to their ancient formation and pronounced Y and W degeneration. Since this neo-SC is in intermediate stage of degeneration, many W genes are still possible to study.

Publications

Retrieved from Lund University's publications database

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Publications

Retrieved from Lund University's publications database

Publications

Retrieved from Lund University's publications database

Page Manager:
Suvi Ponnikas
E-mail: suvi [dot] ponnikas [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se

Postdoctoral fellow

MEMEG

E-B260

Sölvegatan 37, Lund

50