The Leibniz Institute for the Analysis of Biodiversity Change
is a research museum of the Leibniz Association
Link to Leibniz Association
Selection acts differently on males and females and drives their phenotypic dissimilarities. Most research has focused on males and how sexual selection shapes their ornaments and weaponry in the context of gaining access to female mates. This is not least due to the fact that humans, as most other vertebrates, show "conventional", "Darwinian" sex roles concentrating our perception on competitive males and caring mothers. In several seahorse, seadragon and pipefish species (family Syngnathidae), however, females compete for access to mates, while males are the choosy sex and provide the parental care during male pregnancy. Our project will investigate how these species evolved under intensified sexual selection on females
and how the evolution of sex-specific traits from a genome shared between the sexes and hence with sexual conflict is impacted by increasing paternal care.