The molecular basis of a successful invasion: comparative analysis of native and invasive Asterias amurensis populations (#859)
The northern Pacific seastar, Asterias amurensis , is a benthic marine predator, which has established several large invasive populations in Australian waters since its introduction to Hobart, Tasmania ~20 years ago. Recently, it has expanded its invasive range into the Tidal River estuary, Wilsonâs Promontory Marine National Park. Given the relatively recent nature of these introductions, Australian A. amurensis populations provide an exciting model to study contemporary evolutionary processes. Here, I will provide a summary of our research to date, where we address; the source, diversity and connectivity between invasive populations, wether these populations have undergone rapid evolutionary change and if they have the capacity for thermal adaptation and further range expansion. An understanding of A. amurensis population dynamics and evolutionary responses to novel environmental conditions, will not only inform management practices, but further our knowledge of the genetic basis of important processes in invasion ecology.