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Sexual conflict in ecological context

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Rebecca Kilner.

One aspect of sexual conflict that makes it interesting is the potential for continuous coevolution between male and female antagonistic traits. For example, male in many species evolve traits that are harmful to females, and females in these species often evolve ways to resist male harm. Despite great interest in this evolutionary ‘battle of the sexes’, we are missing key insights into how sexual conflict and coevolution happen. For example, we do not know how much sexual conflict contributes to sexual coevolution compared with other processes that generate sexual covariation. Furthermore, we do not know how much the ecological setting matters in shaping sexual conflict, with theoretical models predicting that it should matter very much or very little. I will present observations and experiments that address these questions in water striders.

This talk is part of the Behaviour, Ecology & Evolution Seminar Series series.

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