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The Ecology and Evolution of Mimicry in a Changing World (EcoEvoMimic)
Start date: Jan 1, 2015, End date: Dec 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Climate change has the potential to decouple interacting species. The EcoEvoMimic proposal will consider, for the first time, the effects of climate change on a mimicry system: hoverflies (Diptera: Syrphidae) that mimic stinging bees and wasps (Hymenoptera). Both groups are economically-important pollinators, and both are currently in decline across much of their ranges. The applicant will establish the ecological responses to climate change in these taxa, and the evolutionary consequences of those responses. The project will provide novel experimental tests for hypotheses that explain the evolution of mimicry across a range of taxa. The project comprises a set of complementary comparative analyses and experimental approaches with innovative combinations of existing paradigms which together give a comprehensive overview of this charismatic and important model system. The Marie Curie International Incoming Fellowship will provide support for Dr Christopher Hassall (the Fellow), a leading insect ecologist and evolutionary biologist, to join the research group of Professor Bill Kunin (the PI) for a period of two years at the University of Leeds. As outlined in the application Dr Hassall possesses the unique combination of skills and collaborations that will enable the transfer of valuable skills and knowledge to undergraduates, postgraduates, researchers and teachers at the host institution and across the ERA alongside the successful completion of the EcoEvoMimic project.

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