Horizontal gene transfer is ancient and ongoing in bdelloids

Isobel Eyres paper showing that horizontal gene exchange is ancient and common to bdelloid species at high levels of unto 10% of genes- much higher than observed in any other animal. Closely related species have picked up unique horizontally transferred genes, showing that the process is ongoing.

The paper was timely because evidence for high frequencies of horizontal transfer in tardigrades, published shortly before, was shown to result from contamination. Our work in this paper and subsequently rule out contamination as an explanation in bdelloids.

How Do Species Interactions Affect Evolutionary Dynamics Across Whole Communities?

This paper outlines verbal theory, existing evidence and future avenues for studying evolutionary interactions across whole communities. Many thanks to the Biodiversity Research Centre at the University of British Columbia (UBC) for hosting my sabbatical visit. Watching cedar waxwings and hummingbirds from my office window helped inspire this paper. We now need quantitative theory to guide our experiments – watch this space!