This past month was spent in the field with Albert Chung and John David Curlis, studying the evolution of thermal biology in a forest anole (Anolis apletophallus) in collaboration with Michael Logan (http://www.evolutioninthetropics.com/) and Daniel Nicholson (Queen Mary University, ZSL). Along the way we saw a lot of cool critters- check them out!
Congratulations to John David Curlis, who just won the College of Graduate Studies - Averitt Award of Excellence in Graduate Research at Georgia Southern University! This is a university-wide award that recognizes the contributions of graduate students to research at Georgia Southern. John David won based upon his exciting thesis research, scientific papers (both published and on the way), presentations at international scientific meetings, and his contributions as one of the graduate student research assistants on the Georgia Southern Vertebrate Biodiversity Survey.
Hormonally mediated increases in sex-biased gene expression accompany the breakdown of between-sex genetic correlations in a sexually dimorphic lizard.
Our new paper on sex-bias in gene expression and sexual dimorphism in brown anole lizards was just published in The American Naturalist! This was a large collaborative project with colleagues from the University of Texas-Arlington, Virginia Tech, and the University of Virginia that included a multi-year breeding experiment and quantitative genetic analysis, experimental hormone manipulations, and transcriptomics. Check out this link to read the paper.
We have just returned from the 2017 Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology Annual Meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana. Both Albert Chung and John David presented posters, Albert's on dewlap energetics in anoles and John David's on color pattern diversity of ground snakes. Both posters received a lot of interest, and Albert's was summarized in a post on Anole Annals.
Correlated evolution between targets of pre- and postcopulatory sexual selection across squamate reptiles
Albert Chung has joined the lab this fall! He come from the University of Virginia, where he was involved in lots of different work on brown anoles, from parasitism to gene expression. In fact, we are already coathors on a recent paper studying parasitism as a cost of reproduction.
Albert's field persona is quite menacing.
John David's first paper was just published! Congrats to him and coauthors. Check out the research at this link:
Our paper on the evolution of coral snake mimicry was just published in Nature Communications! In this paper, we use spatial and phylogenetic data to show a tight linkage between the coral snakes and mimetic patterns in the New World. Check out the paper at the link:
Unlinked Mendelian inheritance of red and black pigmentation in snakes: implications for Batesian mimicry.
Our paper on the inheritance and evolution of color signals in snakes was just published in the journal Evolution! Theoretically, evolutionary forces should drive linkage between signal components for animals that are Batesian mimics. This is because expression of a only some of the signal components would result in a conspicuous non-mimic with low fitness. We conducted extensive sampling (over 2100 snakes) of color pattern in natural history collections for a polymorphic coral snake mimic (ground snakes, (Sonora semiannulata). Surprisingly, we found no evidence for linkage between the two color components (red and black pigmentation) in this species. These findings suggest that the dynamics of coral snake mimicry are different than other Batesian systems, and could be linked to rapid color evolution in coral snake mimicry complexes.
Check out the link below to read the paper:
A new paper of the costs of reproduction in brown anoles was just published in the Biological Journal of the Linnean Society! This is collaborative work with Bob Cox's lab at the University of Virginia, with Aaron Reedy as the lead author. Using gonadectomy of both males and female brown anoles, we tested whether a host of traits (parasitism, immune function, and fat storage) were impacted by reproduction. We found that gonadectomized males and females stored more fat and had less of certain parasites than animals with intact gonads. These findings suggest that increased parasitism and decreased fat storage are costs of reproduction in brown anoles. Check out the article via the link below!