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Who am I?
I am an evolutionary biologist interested in sexual selection, especially in the evolution of reproductive traits. It is only natural for me to be curious about how the sexual traits have evolved. If you ask me to what extent we should centre the evolution of sexes and sexuality upon nature, the answer is for me; ?It is the theory of everything?.
I worked on testis size evolution in my Master thesis to find out whether longer testis size is better (in terms of fitness) in Drosophilids. Currently, I work on my PhD project which aims to shed light on evolution of seminal fluid. When we think about mating, we think the male's role straightforwardly as to get sperm to egg. However, male ejaculate contains a diverse mixture of seminal fluid proteins that are transferred along with sperm during mating. These proteins are generally essential for fertilization and have great impact on the fitness of both males and females. These incredible proteins are, now, the main focus of my research. I have been investigating genetic variation, genotype-by-environment interaction and degree of plasticity as a response of sperm competition, as well as genetic correlations, taking seminal fluid as a multivariate trait and by using a novel model organism the simultaneously hermaphroditic marine flatworm Macrostomum lignano.
Besides seminal fluid, in broad sense, I am also interested in evolution of reproductive traits in animals, specially another major aspect of male ejaculate; sperm. I use quantitative genetics approach to understand sexual selection and the evolution of mating system and reproductive traits. I strongly advocate that sophisticated applications of quantitative genetics are very powerful tools to understand phenotypic evolution in nature.
Keywords of my interests
Sexual selection, Seminal fluid proteins, Sperm, Genotype-by-Environment interactions, Quantitative genetics