Biology graduate student Tyler Wittman leads two new publications from the Cox lab, and former undergraduate student John David Curlis (currently a Ph.D. student at the University of Michigan) has also published a paper from his undergraduate work with Bob Cox and former UVA postdoc Christian Cox (now an Assistant Professor at Florida International University). All three are highlighted below, along with links to the publications. Congratulations to all!
Hormonal pleiotropy structures genetic covariance
UVA Biology graduate students Tyler Wittman (lead author) and Chris Robinson, plus coauthors Joel McGlothlin (Virginia Tech) and Bob Cox, have a new paper in Evolution Letters in which they provide the first empirical demonstration that hormones shape patterns of genetic variance and covariance. The figure above shows that genetic correlations between males and females are naturally low for many aspects of size and ornamentation (red symbols), but these same genetic correlations increase significantly when females develop under experimentally elevated testosterone levels (purple symbols). Wittman, TN, CD Robinson, JW McGlothlin, and RM Cox. 2021. Hormonal pleiotropy structures genetic covariance. Evolution Letters. https://doi.org/10.1002/evl3.240
Mating system shapes the costs of parasitism
UVA Biology graduate student Tyler Wittman recently published a meta-analysis from his Ph.D. thesis in Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Using published data from 64 animal species spanning a variety of vertebrate and invertebrate lineages, Tyler and coauthor Bob Cox showed that parasites tend to reduce host survival to a greater extent in males than in females under polygynous and promiscuous mating systems. However, when monogamy evolves, the balance shifts such that female hosts suffer higher survival costs of parasitism than do male hosts.Wittman, TN and RM Cox. 2021. The evolution of monogamy is associated with reversals from male to female bias in the survival cost of parasitism.
Proceedings of the Royal Society B 288: 20210421 https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2021.0421
Sex-specific population differences in metabolic rate
Former UVA Biology undergraduate John David Curlis (currently a Ph.D. student at the University of Michigan) has published a paper in Physiological and Biochemical Zoology from his undergraduate work with Bob Cox and former UVA postdoc Christian Cox (now an Assistant Professor at Florida International University). The paper shows that genetically based differences in sexual size dimorphism between populations of brown anoles, which are due to population differences in growth and size of males, are also associated with population differences in resting metabolic rate of males. John David also took this photo, which will appear on the PBZ cover. Curlis, JD, CL Cox, and RM Cox. 2021. Sex-specific population differences in resting metabolism are associated with intraspecific variation in sexual size dimorphism of brown anoles. Physiological and Biochemical Zoology 94: 205-214. https://doi.org/10.1086/714638