Evolutionary biology of sex differences

We study sex, bugs and genetic conflicts.

In our lab we are interested in how sexual and natural selection shape sex differences and what are their genetic underpinnings. Evolution of sexual dimorphism is puzzling because although the sexes commonly experience divergent selection pressures, their independent response to selection is constrained by the largely shared genome. We address the long-standing question of how sex differences in the genetic architecture of shared traits can evolve by using laboratory evolution, quantitative genetic and transcriptomic techniques. By testing several theoretical predictions of what it takes to evolve sexual dimorphism, we hope to get more insights into the question of how to resolve the intra-locus sexual conflict and where in the genome the resolution lurks.

We also study life-history and behavioural evolution in the sexes utilising different seed beetle species as model organisms.