Here is a brilliant figure of the distribution of sexual systems across insects, from the Tree of Sex consortium paper published in Nature Scientific Data. Ex-lab member Laura Ross is part of the ToS consortium – for more on her work please go here.
One the topics we are interested in is reproductive interference – costly heterospecific sexual and reproductive interactions. This cartoon sums up the problem quite nicely:
From the excellent birdandmoon.com website
As Liam heads off into the sunset that is a post-doc at UWA with Leigh Simmons, so he has a new website where you can follow his research:
Have fun in Australia!
This week’s Popular Science Book of the Week is Emily Monosson’s Unnatural Selection: How we are changing life, gene by gene, published by Island Press.
The book gives a clear introduction to the issues surrounding antibiotic, pesticide, and anti-cancer resistance, and also explores the broader topics of evolution and chemical exposure (with a bit of epigenetics thrown in). Recommended.
ESEB has drawn to a close, heralded by the ethereal sounds of the alpine horns… Final highlights included a great plenary by Dan Tawfik on protein evolution, and Laurent Keller’s inspiring Presidential Addrees. Laurent highlighted the role of serendipity in research, but also showed that one has to be open to serendipity, to follow the strange and the wrong-looking, as well as the neat-and-tidy and the explicable. A great meeting.
Ginny’s repeatability of mating failure paper is also out in print this week in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology – please go here for the final version. We are currently studying whether female bugs can choose to avoid mating failure… we will keep you posted!
Nicki gave a very nice talk here at ESEB today, on our work on DNA methylation and sex allocation in Nasonia (just out in Am Nat – see previous post!). Amongst other highlights was Kevin Foster’s tremendous plenary on social interactions in microbes – a fantastic talk, full of great visuals and great biology.
Nicki’s paper on the role of DNA methylation on sex allocation in Nasonia wasps is now out online-early. For the paper, please go here.