Understanding sexual selection: which sex leads the dance?
NWO grant for Astrid Groot
Astrid Groot, associate professor at the UvA Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics, received an NWO Earth and Life Sciences open program grant for the research project 'Understanding sexual selection: which sex leads the dance when both are signallers?'. The grant supplies funding for a PhD position.
Sexual selection generally assumes that one sex is the signaller and the other sex the responder. The forces of sexual selection are likely more complex when both sexes are signallers and responders. This NWO-ALW project aims to identify the selection forces on both female and male moths and signals and responses to determine how changes herein may contribute to speciation.
Partner selection of moths
Moths are ideal animals to study sexual selection forces because they are one of the most diverse group of animals on earth (~ 120.000 species) and their sexual communication system is very well defined. Females attract males from a distance through a species-specific sex pheromone. However, at close-range males produce pheromone, which is likely important for close-range female choice and/or male competition. This project aims to reveal these selection forces in more detail.
About Dr Astrid Groot
Astrid Groot is an associate professor at the University of Amsterdam in the research group Evolutionary Biology. The main research question is how sexual attraction is involved in the initial divergence of populations, and thus the first step in speciation. Groot joined the UvA in 2011 as MacGillavry fellow, a tenure track aimed at excellent female researchers in all disciplines of the natural sciences. Next to her work for the UvA she works at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology.