Invasive species wreck havoc on natural ecosystems and threaten biodiversity worldwide. They are well known for their ability to rapidly adapt to their introduced environments, to spread and to outcompete native biota, but what gives them this edge is less well known. Decades of work have revealed that some invasive species share certain ecological features such as fast generation time or broad physiological tolerance, but much less is known about the possible genetic or genomic factors that may underlie their invasive success. An emerging area of my research aims to address the question of how genetic or genomic factors contribute to invasive species rapid adaptation and spread.
Stapley J, Santure, AW and Dennis, SR (2015) Transposable elements as agents of rapid adaptation may explain the genetic paradox of invasive species. Molecular Ecology 22: 2241-2252