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Keywords:

  • adaptation;
  • ecological genetics;
  • molecular evolution;
  • speciation

A primary question in biology concerns the genetic basis of the evolution of novel traits, often in response to environmental changes, and how this can subsequently cause species isolation. This topic was the focus of the symposium on the Genetics of Speciation and Evolution at the annual meeting of the Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolution, held in Banff in May 2011. The presentations revealed some of the rapid advances being made in understanding the genetic basis of adaptation and speciation, as well as the elegant interplay between an organism’s genetic complement and the environment that organism experiences.