Research

Overview

Our research centers around fundamental questions in evolutionary biology. We are passionate about the study of insects, and the research themes we pursue include sexual selection and the evolutionary ecology of host-parasite interactions.

Sexual selection

We study both pre- and post-mating mechanisms of sexual selection, which are potent evolutionary drivers of some of the most extravagant and rapidly evolving traits in nature. Species inhabiting islands and atolls in remote regions of the South Pacific Ocean are in particular focus.

Parasite-host evolutionary ecology

Drosophila-parasitic mite systems that inhabit vastly different habitats, from deserts to rain forests, are of major interest to us because together such systems have proved well suited to investigations of the evolution of host defensive traits and of associated costs of defense. With these systems we are characterizing general mechanisms of resistance evolution in insect hosts.