Evolution, Ecology and Animal Behavior


Hughes Laboratory

mate choice and sexual selection, life-history evolution, evolution and genetics of aging, genetics of reproductive behavior, maintenance of genetic variation

Why are organisms so diverse?  Simple models of evolution predict that genetic diversity should be rapidly eroded by natural selection, especially for traits that are closely tied to overall fitness.  What we observer, however, is that traits like fecundity, mating success, reproductive behavior, male ornamental traits, and lifespan are genetically variable even within local populations.  We use a variety of organisms and approaches to to resolve this seeming paradox.  Currently, some of our favorite topics are:

female preference for novel males in guppies:  why?

genetic and social modifiers of aggression in mosquitofish;

extreme genetic variation in male color and size in guppies and other poeciliid fish;

genetics and genomics of aging and life history evolution in flies;

genetics of courtship and mating in flies;

the genomic basis of courtship plasticity in sailfin mollies.

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Ecology and Evolution Graduate Program

Department of Biological Science

College of Arts and Sciences

The Florida State University