Unravelling the secrets of a long life

A new study in Evolution Letters has investigated the genetic basis of long life in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. We quizzed the leader of the research, Professor Thomas Flatt, on his group's findings and what they mean for our understanding of ageing. EL: Your study set out to identify the mechanisms by which longer … Continue reading Unravelling the secrets of a long life

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Mating snails and population modelling: what can this tell us about the evolution of reproductive traits?

A new study published in Evolution Letters tests whether reinforcement plays a role in the divergence of mating preference and genital morphology during speciation. Here, author Dr Mauricio Montano-Rendon explains what they found. There is usually more than one way to go about most things in life. Choosing a mate is certainly one of them, with … Continue reading Mating snails and population modelling: what can this tell us about the evolution of reproductive traits?

Competition and evolutionary opportunity: from birds to bacteria

A new study in Evolution Letters uses experimental evolution to demonstrate how species interactions shape abiotic adaptation, and provides rare insight into the underlying genetics. Lead author James P.J. Hall tells us more. On the Galapagos island of Daphne Major lives the medium ground finch Geospiza fortis. This small bird eats seeds, large and small, … Continue reading Competition and evolutionary opportunity: from birds to bacteria

The evolution of psychiatric disorders and human personality traits

In a new paper published in Evolution Letters, a research team from Tohoku University reveal the evolution of a gene related to human-unique psychiatric traits. Here, authors Daiki Sato and Masakado Kawata tell us more about their findings. How and why unique human characteristics, such as highly social behavior, languages, and complex cultures, have evolved … Continue reading The evolution of psychiatric disorders and human personality traits

The influence of the beginning of life on the end: A silver-spoon for senescence?

Why do individuals vary in how quickly they age? Eve Cooper explains what her new research tells us about the effect of developmental environment on senescence. As humans, the process of senescence - experiencing physiological declines as we age - is a seemingly inescapable constraint of our own biology. But why is it that we … Continue reading The influence of the beginning of life on the end: A silver-spoon for senescence?

Does sexual selection help or hinder population performance?

A new study published today in Evolution Letters shows that populations with an evolutionary history of strong sexual selection are able to invade competitor populations more rapidly. Here, lead author Dr Joanne Godwin tells us more. Costs: sexual selection vs. natural selection No discussion of sexual selection is complete without the clichéd picture of a … Continue reading Does sexual selection help or hinder population performance?

Speciation on the beach: solving the mystery of the most misidentified marine organism in the world

In our latest author blog, Rui Faria, Kerstin Johannesson, Mark Ravinet, and Roger Butlin explain how their intensive study of an intertidal hybrid zone has shed new light on the processes of divergence and speciation. The rough periwinkle, Littorina saxatilis, is a world champion when it comes to complicating the life of a biologist trying … Continue reading Speciation on the beach: solving the mystery of the most misidentified marine organism in the world

Taking tests of the predictability of evolution one step further

Recent evidence suggests that if we replayed evolution from the same starting point, in the same environment, it would proceed in a predictable manner, with certain genes being repeatedly selected. But what about in a more realistic world, where environments differ? Dr Caroline Turner provides new insights from her experimental study published today in Evolution … Continue reading Taking tests of the predictability of evolution one step further