Trading off resistance and speed in a deadly arms race

In our latest author blog, Mike Hague tells us how specific genetic mutations lead to large-scale ecological trade-offs in a deadly predator-prey system. Driving north on Highway 101 in California and my car reeks of garter snakes and camping gear. I’ve just left my field site in Sonoma County, where I study a population of … Continue reading Trading off resistance and speed in a deadly arms race

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Testing the Predictability of Evolution

New research published in Evolution Letters uses a natural experiment to gain insight into the roles of contingency and determinism in evolution. Science blogger Luke Turner tells us more. Life has been evolving since it began on Earth, but just how predictable is the course of evolution? Another way to look at this question might … Continue reading Testing the Predictability of Evolution

Shaping evolution: selection versus constraint

In our new author blog, Joel McGlothlin explains how natural selection and genetic constraint interact to shape adaptive radiations. Ever since the Modern Synthesis of the early 20th century, biologists have had a pretty good understanding of how evolution works. Mutation generates genetic variation in a population, and natural selection sorts through it, keeping things … Continue reading Shaping evolution: selection versus constraint

Explaining Large-Scale Diversity within Midas Cichlid Fishes

A new study published in Evolution Letters capitalises on a natural experiment to shed light on when and how species diversify. Luke Turner reports: Speciation occurs when a new species is formed from a pre-existing one, and can take place due to a variety of ecological factors. This diversification is not equal among all groups of … Continue reading Explaining Large-Scale Diversity within Midas Cichlid Fishes

Evolution Letters 1st Anniversary Collection – Editors’ Picks

Evolution Letters is celebrating its first birthday and so we asked the editorial board to think about some of their favourite papers from the first year. It was always the aim of the journal, and the two societies that founded it, to promote the best research in Evolutionary Biology. We think the papers we’ve picked … Continue reading Evolution Letters 1st Anniversary Collection – Editors’ Picks

Malaria Parasite Transmission Flies High when Mosquitos Are Around

A new study published in Evolution Letters has tested the idea that parasites can evolve the ability to time their investment in transmission to match the activity of their vectors. Luke Turner reports: One of the biggest challenges that all organisms face is surviving in their dynamic and constantly changing surroundings. Adapting to fluctuations in … Continue reading Malaria Parasite Transmission Flies High when Mosquitos Are Around

Measuring selection when you have too many traits that are too correlated

Author blog: Professor John Stinchcombe explains why multicollinearity is not the end of the road for measuring selection on biological traits. Natural selection is the engine of adaptive evolutionary change, and it’s safe to say that evolutionary biologists since Darwin have devoted enormous effort to understanding it. How do we measure it? How strong is … Continue reading Measuring selection when you have too many traits that are too correlated

Guarding Hosts from Parasite Attack – The Rapid Evolution of a Defensive Mutualism

How do organisms protect themselves against harmful parasites? One way might be to form mutualistic relationships with microbes who help defend their host. A new study, published in Evolution Letters, has demonstrated that beneficial co-dependent relationships can evolve remarkably quickly between hosts and bacteria, with important positive effects on host health. Luke Turner reports: Organisms … Continue reading Guarding Hosts from Parasite Attack – The Rapid Evolution of a Defensive Mutualism

Hybrid Incompatibilities Stop Selfish Sex Chromosomes Flying North

A new study published in Evolution Letters has demonstrated a crucial role for genetic incompatibility in preventing the spread of selfish sex chromosomes across populations. Science blogger Luke Turner tells us more. Competition between genes can be fierce in the battle to be expressed in the next generation. While this is often manifested as competition … Continue reading Hybrid Incompatibilities Stop Selfish Sex Chromosomes Flying North

Sexy sons and greenbeards

In our latest author blog, Gonçalo Faria explains how his new paper in Evolution Letters investigates the connections between two classic ideas in evolutionary biology: the "sexy son hypothesis" and the "greenbeard effect". Two major theories dominate contemporary evolutionary biology: sexual selection, which concerns how natural selection can work through differences in mating success; and … Continue reading Sexy sons and greenbeards