James Santangelo

James Santangelo
University of Toronto | U of T · Department of Biology at Mississauga

Bachelor of Science

About

17
Publications
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256
Citations
Introduction
I am a PhD student in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology the University of Toronto working with Marc Johnson and Rob Ness. I use theoretical (e.g. simulation) and empirical (e.g. field experiments) approaches, coupled with modern genomics, to examine the influence of urban environments on both adaptive (i.e. natural selection) and non-adaptive (e.g. genetic drift) evolutionary processes.

Publications

Publications (17)
Article
The extent to which species can adapt to spatiotemporal climatic variation in their native and introduced ranges remains unresolved. To address this, we examined how clines in cyanogenesis (HCN production—an antiherbivore defense associated with decreased tolerance to freezing) have shifted in response to climatic variation in space and time over a...
Article
Urbanization transforms environments in ways that alter biological evolution. We examined whether urban environmental change drives parallel evolution by sampling 110,019 white clover plants from 6169 populations in 160 cities globally. Plants were assayed for a Mendelian antiherbivore defense that also affects tolerance to abiotic stressors. Urban...
Article
Evidence suggests that natural populations can evolve to better tolerate the novel environmental conditions associated with urban areas. Studies of adaptive divergence in urban areas often examine one or a few traits at a time from populations residing only at the most extreme urban and nonurban habitats. Thus, whether urbanization drives divergenc...
Chapter
Urban environments represent globally replicated, large-scale disturbances to the landscape, providing an ideal opportunity to study parallel evolution in natural populations on a large scale. In recent years, there has been a rapid increase in the number of studies investigating evolutionary responses of a diverse range of taxa across multiple cit...
Article
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Cities are emerging as models for addressing the fundamental question of whether populations evolve in parallel to similar environments. Here, we examine the environmental factors that drive the evolution of parallel urban‐rural clines in a Mendelian trait—the cyanogenic antiherbivore defense of white clover (Trifolium repens). Previous work sugges...
Preprint
Full-text available
A growing body of evidence suggests that natural populations of dozens of species have undergone adaptive evolution in order to better tolerate the novel environmental conditions in urban areas. Invariably, studies of adaptive divergence in urban areas examine a single or few--often correlated--traits at a time from populations residing only at the...
Preprint
Full-text available
Cities are emerging as models for addressing the fundamental question of whether populations evolve in parallel to similar environments. Here, we examine the environmental factors that drive parallel evolutionary urban-rural clines in a Mendelian trait — the cyanogenic antiherbivore defense of white clover ( Trifolium repens ). We sampled over 700...
Article
Full-text available
Urban ecosystems are rapidly expanding throughout the world, but how urban growth affects the evolutionary ecology of species living in urban areas remains largely unknown. Urban ecology has advanced our understanding of how the development of cities and towns changes environmental conditions and alters ecological processes and patterns. However, d...
Article
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Pollinators and herbivores can both affect the evolutionary diversification of plant reproductive traits. However, plant defenses frequently alter antagonistic and mutualistic interactions and therefore variation in plant defenses may alter patterns of herbivore‐ and pollinator‐mediated selection on plant traits. We tested this hypothesis by conduc...
Article
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Urbanization represents a dominant and growing form of disturbance to Earth's natural ecosystems, affecting biodiversity and ecosystem services on a global scale. While decades of research have illuminated the effects of urban environmental change on the structure and function of ecological communities in cities, only recently have researchers begu...
Article
Full-text available
Urban environments offer the opportunity to study the role of adaptive and non-adaptive evolutionary processes on an unprecedented scale. While the presence of parallel clines in heritable phenotypic traits is often considered strong evidence for the role of natural selection, non-adaptive evolutionary processes can also generate clines, and this m...
Preprint
Full-text available
Urban environments offer the opportunity to study the role of adaptive and non-adaptive evolutionary processes on an unprecedented scale. While the presence of parallel clines in heritable phenotypic traits is often considered strong evidence for the role of natural selection, non-adaptive evolutionary processes can also generate clines, and this m...
Article
Ecosystem function is the outcome of species interactions, traits, and niche overlap -all of which are influenced by evolution. However, it is not well understood how the tempo and mode of niche evolution can influence ecosystem function. In evolutionary models where either species differences accumulate through random drift in a single trait or sp...
Article
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Plant-microbial symbioses are widespread in nature and can shape the ecology and evolution of hosts and interacting symbionts. Fungal endophytes'fungi that live asymptomatically within plant tissues'are a pervasive group of symbionts well known for their role in mediating host-responses to biotic and abiotic stresses. However, they also may become...
Article
Full-text available
Plant – fungal endophyte interactions are common in nature and they can shape the ecology of plants. Vertically transmitted endophytes are hypothesized to serve as mutualists, protecting plants from herbivores. If this hypothesis is true, then we expect endophytes to be most abundant in the presence of herbivores and least abundant in their absence...

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Projects

Project (1)
Project
This project is focussed on understanding the ecological mechanisms underlying adaptation to urban environments. Using the cyanogenesis polymorphism in T. repens as a model, we are trying to understand where clines occur along urbanization gradients, and working toward the development of a predictive framework that can predict the occurrence of clines.