Peering behind the curtain: how genetic context and fluctuating environments help to maintain alternative mating tactics

A blog post by Kathryn Stewart (@Kat_A_Stewart) on our paper “ The role of genetic diversity in the evolution and maintenance of environmentally-cued, male alternative reproductive tactics” by Stewart et al. (2019), published in BMC Evolutionary Biology. 19:58. Philosophers, psychologists, sociologists, and scientists have pitted nature vs. nurture against one another for a long time. In fact,…

Lovers and fighters, and how their coexistence affects their evolution within an eco-evolutionary feedback loop

To contribute towards integrating the field of eco-evolutionary dynamics and move the field forward, scientific journals from the British Ecological Society, including the Journal of Animal Ecology, have just published a cross-journal special feature entitled “Eco-evolutionary dynamics across scales”, edited by Franziska Brunner, Jacques Deere, Martijn Egas, Christophe Eizaguirre and Joost Raeymaekers. How evolutionary changes…

Can traits of individuals inform on how populations respond to change? A cross-journal special feature on linking organismal functions, life history strategies and population performance

We are in great need of an integrative framework that allows ecologists to predict life history strategies (i.e. the different ways in which individuals trade-off resource investment into survival or reproduction) from functional traits: traits of individuals that inform on the performance of a population of plants or animals as a whole. To contribute towards…

Selfish supervisors

Supervisors of PhD students and Post Docs are there to provide input and discussion on the research project that their group members undertake. Crucial, also, is that supervisors provide mentoring to their PhD students and Post Docs, which is critical to their career development and advancement. Most supervisors mentor their group members well, but in…

Who cares?

I care. I look after my son, together with my partner. But our son needs very predictable schedules, cannot deal well with novel situations, and only feels safest with me, which means I do a lot of the day-to-day care. He is a lovely little boy, and we have all found our way in our…

Women-in-science networks

I have been asked a few times whether I have joined a women in science network. I have never done so. The first time I came across such a network was at the Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ) where I did my PhD research. At the time, this NIOZ women-in-science network consisted of only…

Women in academia: on the balancing act

I often chat to my students about career choices and these conversations often also cover the topic of gender balance in academia, which typically gets more male biased as you climb the academic ranks. To give you some numbers, I’ve calculated the proportion of fte that are filled by women, from PhD candidate to professor,…