Welcome to Emma and Massimo!

A warm welcome our two new lab members, Emma and Massimo. Emma is a visiting postdoc who will be modelling the establishment of new inversions in a population. And Massimo has joined both Isabel Gordo’s lab and our lab as a PhD student. He will be building a gene-based mathematical model to investigate the mechanisms and effects of evolutionary change on the dynamics of mammalian microbial communities regarding their stability, diversity, interactions, and effects on the fitness of the host.

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Conflict between heterozygote advantage and hybrid incompatibility in haplodiploids (and sex chromosomes)

How is speciation different between diploid and haplodiploid organisms?

Inspired by our collaborators’ findings in natural populations of wood ants in Finland, where the coexistence of hybrid incompatibility and heterozygote advantage create a rugged fitness landscape, we developed mathematical models to compare the evolutionary dynamics of hybrid populations of diploid and haplodiploid organisms. We showed that the evolutionary outcomes between genetic systems are dramatically different. Our results imply a specific signature of hybrid incompatibilities in haplodiploids. This, in turn, provides an alternative hypothesis why X chromosomes in diploids may appear as hotspots of speciation genes and sexual conflict.

Link to our paper in Molecular Ecology: Conflict between heterozygote advantage and hybrid incompatibility in haplodiploids (and sex chromosomes)