Faculty of Biology - Evolutionary Biology
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Bielefeld University > Faculty of Biology > Evolutionary Biology > mitarbeiter

Alicia Jarrige

Office: VHF-212
Phone: +49 (0)521 - 106 2820
email: alicia.jarrige"at"uni-bielefeld.de

Research interests

I am a behavioral ecologist interested in how sexual selection shapes and constrains the evolution of male reproductive traits. In males, the selective episodes underlying reproductive success are often more complex than in females, by relying both on the expression of traits involved in mate acquisition (pre-copulatory sexual selection) and in subsequent competition for fertilization (post-copulatory sexual selection). In this context, I am particularly curious about how and to what extent these two selective episodes interplay to affect the expression of reproductive traits in males.

Current project

I am currently investigating the function of apyrene sperm in the moth Achroia grisella, in the framework of a Career Bridge project in collaboration with Dr. Tim Schmoll. Moths and butterflies are unusual in that they produce two distinct types of sperm: eupyrene (nucleate) and apyrene (anucleate) sperm. Although both types are concomitantly transferred during copulation to the female genital tract, only eupyrene sperm fertilize the eggs, while the function of apyrene sperm remains unclear and represents one of the most perplexing and debated conundrums for evolutionary biologists. To better understand the evolution of dichotomous spermatogenesis, I study apyrene sperm function with respect to sperm competition, by measuring the sperm allocation of males under experimentally manipulated sperm competition risk.


Achroia grisella

(Lepidoptera: pyralidae)

On a broader perspective, I am aiming to investigate the genetic architecture of sperm traits in A. grisella using modern quantitative genetic methods, as well as the genetic covariance of these traits with pre-copulatory traits (male ultrasonic courtship song). By incorporating both pre- and post-copulatory traits, and in particular the production and allocation of apyrene sperm, this should bring exciting new insights on how selection shapes the evolution of male reproductive traits.

Short CV

2007-2008 BSc in Life Sciences and Evolutionary Biology, University François Rabelais of Tours, France.
2008-2010 MSc in Behavioral and Evolutionary Biology, Specialty in Insect Sciences, University François Rabelais of Tours, France.
2011-2015 PhD "Sexual selection and strategic allocation of reproductive resources by males: case studies in two insect species with contrasting life history traits".
2016- Postdoctoral researcher in the Evolutionary Biology Department, University of Bielefeld.


Moreau J., Desouhant E., Thiery D., Louapre P., Goubault M., Rajon E., Jarrige A., Menu F., & D. Thiéry (2016). How Host Plant and Fluctuating Environments Affect Insect Reproductive Strategies?, in Insect-Plant Interactions, in press. Advanced in Botanical Research, volume 81, Elsevier, Oxford, UK.

Jarrige A., Kassis A., Schmoll T., & Goubault M. (2016). Males of a lek-mating insect intensify pre-copulatory mate guarding under elevated male competition, Animal Behaviour 117: 21-34.

Jarrige A., Riemann D., Goubault M., & Schmoll T. (2015). Strategic sperm allocation in response to perceived sperm competition risk in the lekking lesser wax moth Achroia grisella. Animal Behaviour, 109: 81-87.

Jarrige A., Body M., Giron D., Greenfield M.D., & Goubault M. (2015). Amino-acid composition of nuptial gift:  a differential allocation toward female quality suggests a dynamic role of nuptial gift in a bushcricket. Physiology & Behavior, 151: 463-468.

Jarrige A., Greenfield M.D, & Goubault M. (2013). Male song as a predictor of the nuptial gift in bushcrickets: On the confounding influence of male choice, Animal Behaviour, 85: 1427-1434