Sexual selection intensity promotes the evolution of delayed maturation by sex in birds

A new study published in Evolution Letters reveals that sex differences in maturation times arise in bird species where one sex is rarer and competes more strongly for mates than the other, supporting the prediction that sexual selection selects for delayed maturation. Here, lead author Dr. Sergio Ancona explains his findings. The age at sexual … Continue reading Sexual selection intensity promotes the evolution of delayed maturation by sex in birds

Revealing the trade-off between resistance and maintenance under sexual conflict

New research published in Evolution Letters demonstrates that in fruit flies, female resistance to sexual conflict is dependent on food availability. Lead author of the study, Dr Wayne Rostant, tells us more. In species which reproduce sexually, i.e. either with separate sexes (or sex functions in the case of hermaphrodites) it is common to find … Continue reading Revealing the trade-off between resistance and maintenance under sexual conflict

Louder or longer? Optimizing information transmission in animals and the evolution of language

A new study published in Evolution Letters suggests vocal repertoire efficiency in rock hyraxes is driven by call amplitude rather than duration, challenging predictions of the Law of Brevity. Authors Dr Vlad Demartsev and Dr. Amyiaal Ilany tell us more. Social living in nature is tightly bound with the ability to communicate with others. Maintaining social ties and … Continue reading Louder or longer? Optimizing information transmission in animals and the evolution of language

Correlates of hybridization in plants: long lives, woody growth, and pollination methods are associated with interspecies breeding

A new study in Evolution Letters sheds light on why certain species are more likely to hybridize than others. Here, lead author Dr. Nora Mitchell explains her findings. The phenomenon of hybridization has long-fascinated botanists and is a primary research focus in our lab group. Plants are notorious for their often-promiscuous mating habits and ability to … Continue reading Correlates of hybridization in plants: long lives, woody growth, and pollination methods are associated with interspecies breeding

Infectious disease in colonising population

A new study in Evolution Letters experimentally investigated how population dynamics in colonising populations influence the evolution of infectious disease. Here, lead author Louise Nørgaard describes the experimental approaches that led to the group's interesting findings. Infectious disease is a major threat to human and wildlife well-being and epidemiological theory helps us understand how a … Continue reading Infectious disease in colonising population

Genetic and evolutionary consequences of range expansion revealed

A new study published in Evolution Letters examines how mating systems have been shaped by historic biogeographic events. Lead author Matt Koski explains the findings and what they tell us about evolutionary responses to global climate change. Historic climate oscillations have been a driving force in shaping the geographic distribution of species. During the last … Continue reading Genetic and evolutionary consequences of range expansion revealed

Predation drives divergence in sticklebacks

A new study in Evolution Letters provides experimental evidence that predation drives changes in threespine stickleback armor traits. Here, author Dr Diana Rennison describes her experiment and its interesting results. For quite some time it has been known that differences in ecological factors between habitats drive evolutionary divergence and can lead to the generation of … Continue reading Predation drives divergence in sticklebacks

The role of mobile genetic elements in evolution and development

A new study in Evolution Letters suggests that transposable elements are important for both developmental processes and evolutionary diversification in snakes and lizards. Author Dr Nathalie Feiner explains her findings in our latest blog. Mobile DNA sequences – transposable elements or TEs for short – are found in the genome of virtually all organisms. As … Continue reading The role of mobile genetic elements in evolution and development

Switching up your pollinator can have unexpected side effects

A study published in Evolution Letters shows that hummingbird pollination is a surprisingly rare trait across the perennial wildflower genus Penstemon, despite a large number of Penstemon lineages having switched during their evolutionary history to attract hummingbird pollinators instead of bees. Here, the study's author Dr Carolyn Wessinger tells us more about her findings. Many species of … Continue reading Switching up your pollinator can have unexpected side effects

The real Paleo Diet: tracing 800 million years of evolution in animal diets

In our new author blog, Professor John Wiens describes the first ever study of the evolution of diet across all animals. One of the most fundamental aspects of the biology of an animal species is the type of food that it eats.  Animals have a remarkable diversity of diets and of lifestyles that are associated … Continue reading The real Paleo Diet: tracing 800 million years of evolution in animal diets