We study the evolutionary genetics of sexual selection and sexual conflict, primarily with the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster and a combination of phenotypic and genomic approaches. A major aim is to better understand the ways sexual selection constrains and facilitates adaptation, in particular with respect to the evolution of differences between the sexes. A recurrent feature of our work is the use of experimental evolution, where replicated populations evolve in manipulated environments and are tracked in real time. Unlike research focused on past evolutionary change that relies largely on inference via correlation, experimental evolution allows us to directly test predictions of evolutionary theory and often leads to exciting and unexpected outcomes.
Check out the research tab for a description of the different projects in the lab.
11/22/21: Claire successfully defended her Honors college thesis!
9/6/21: We have a new paper out in Evolution today (here) where we used a modeling approach to ask how the softness of selection (the scale at which competition takes place) influences the evolution of sexual dimorphism in different mating systems.
6/21/21: Welcome to Sophia, our new laboratory technician, and Izzy, a senior at the Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics who is working on a project in the lab this summer.
5/1/21: The lab was awarded an ASPIRE grant to fund work on our experimental speciation project.
4/13/21: Congratulations to Claire, who received funding from the UofSC Honors College to continue her work in the lab on the condition-dependence of the female postmating responses.
3/2/21: Our paper on the genomics of adaptation to larval malnutrition is out in MBE (here).
1/29/21: A collaboration led by Maria Litovchenko at the EPFL on genetic variation in circadian gene expression patterns across tissues is out in Science Advances (here).
1/4/21: Two new undergraduates, Faith and Isabela, joined the lab this spring semester. Welcome!
12/15/20: Congratulations to Graham, who received a Magellan Scholar award that will fund his research project through the spring semester!
8/20/20: Four new folks in the lab! PhD student Samantha and undergraduates Graham, Claire, and Haven all started this week.
1/17/20: We have a new paper (here) from work led by Michael Frochaux that identifies genetic variation associated with changes in gene expression and susceptibility after flies are orally infected by Pseudomonas entomophila.
12/15/19: Our collaboration on mitochondrial genotypes and phenotypes in the Drosophila Genetic Reference Panel (DGRP), led by Roel Bevers and Maria Litovchenko at the EPFL, is out (here).
9/5/19: We are hosting the European Drosophila Research Conference (EDRC 2019) at EPFL in Lausanne as well as a workshop on interactions between the sexes–it has been great to have such a large contingent of evolutionary biologists here at the fly meeting.
6/12/19: Our first paper from a project with Lauren Cator at Imperial College London–experimental evolution in Aedes aegypti, the yellow fever mosquito– is out in Proc B (here).
4/8/19: Our new paper on how sexual conflict shapes male manipulation of females is out (here) in PNAS! A collaboration with the groups of Tadeusz Kawecki at the University of Lausanne and Claudia Fricke at the University of Muenster.