The price of reproduction – from the male perspective

A new study published in Evolution Letters demonstrates that males incur greater costs from investing in pre-copulatory reproductive traits, like courtship behaviour, than in post-copulatory traits, like sperm production. Lead author Meng-Han Chung tells us more. “Why do animals age?” is a long-standing question in life-history, and theories suggest that it is about energy allocation. … Continue reading The price of reproduction – from the male perspective

The evolution of ageing in superorganisms

By Jan Kreider, Ido Pen and Boris Kramer This week our article on the evolution of ageing in social insects has been published in Evolution Letters. Using a simulation model, we explored evolutionary causes for the large divergence of queen and worker lifespans that is commonly found in eusocial organisms. The castes of eusocial organisms exhibit extreme … Continue reading The evolution of ageing in superorganisms

Competition drives flower colour evolution in a biodiversity hotspot

The findings of a new study published in Evolution Letters help explain the coexistence of many closely related flowering plant species, in one of the most diverse temperate ecosystems in the world. Lead author Dr Alex Skeels tells us more. Flowers are some of the most beautiful and fascinating structures in nature and most people … Continue reading Competition drives flower colour evolution in a biodiversity hotspot

The Mother’s Curse: Insight into the Effects of Maternal Mitochondrial Inheritance

A new study published in Evolution Letters provides support for the ‘Mother’s Curse’ hypothesis in a more generalisable way than previously demonstrated. Lorcan Carnegie, who is an author on the paper, gives us an overview of the findings. Mitochondria are organelles that drive the production of cellular energy and metabolic substances in many forms of life. Crucially, … Continue reading The Mother’s Curse: Insight into the Effects of Maternal Mitochondrial Inheritance

Does genetic diversity protect host populations from parasites?

Yes, according to a new study in Evolution Letters, though the results of its meta-analyses find substantial variation in the degree to which genetic diversity reduces parasitism in host populations. Dr. Amanda Kyle Gibson explains. Whether we be clinicians, agricultural scientists, epidemiologists, or evolutionary biologists, a shared question among researchers of infectious diseases is: why is … Continue reading Does genetic diversity protect host populations from parasites?

Hybridising mosquitoes provide a new perspective on the biological species concept

A new study published in Evolution Letters has shown that the formation of new species does not necessarily require complete genomic isolation. Author Prof. Markus Pfenninger tells us more about the findings. How we think about species, speciation and hybridisation is not only of academic interest, but also influences society and politics. Biological justifications for … Continue reading Hybridising mosquitoes provide a new perspective on the biological species concept

Pollination impacts how plants respond to herbivore attack

A new study published in Evolution Letters shows that when plants evolve under different pollination regimes, their responses to herbivory also differ. Florian P Schiestl tells us more. What happens when a herbivore starts feeding on a plant? Most often, plants respond by upregulating their defense mechanisms, such as increasing their toxicity or producing more … Continue reading Pollination impacts how plants respond to herbivore attack

Resolving a 150 year old argument: why do male and female butterflies differ in colour?

A new paper published in Evolution Letters provides a deeper look at the evolutionary history of the colors of butterflies. Here, lead author Wouter van der Bijl tells us more. The females and males of species often look and act different from each other. These differences are called sexual dimorphism, and when the sexes differ … Continue reading Resolving a 150 year old argument: why do male and female butterflies differ in colour?

Selection on a plumage‐associated gene block maintains a stable boundary between two warbler species

A new paper published in Evolution Letters examines the genomic underpinnings of speciation by studying the divergent pigment traits of two warbler species in a hybrid zone. Here, lead author Dr Silu Wang tells us more. What kind of genomic regions are most important for speciation of songbirds? The genes underlying species-specific plumage coloration are … Continue reading Selection on a plumage‐associated gene block maintains a stable boundary between two warbler species