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Sexual Selection and Speciation

Research in the Larson Lab is motivated by large-scale patterns of diversity. Our team works to understand the origins of species diversity and how evolutionary forces drive speciation.

The evolution of reproductive traits is central to this process. Males and females interact in diverse ways, both before and after mating. They also interact at different organizational levels — as individuals, gametes, sex chromosomes and genes — that have evolved male and female-biased functions.

The evolution of reproductive traits is at once cooperative and antagonistic. Individuals have to be able to reproduce, but males and females can have conflicting interests. The Larson Lab studies how sexual selection and genomic conflict shape the evolution of reproduction, as well as how divergence in these key reproductive traits contribute to speciation.