Alejandro Gonzalez-Voyer

Learn More
The vertebrate brain is composed of several interconnected, functionally distinct structures and much debate has surrounded the basic question of how these structures evolve. On the one hand, according to the 'mosaic evolution hypothesis', because of the elevated metabolic cost of brain tissue, selection is expected to target specific structures mediating(More)
As with any organ, differences in brain size--after adequate control of allometry--are assumed to be a response to selection. With over 200 species and an astonishing diversity in niche preferences and social organization, Tanganyikan cichlids present an excellent opportunity to study brain evolution. We used phylogenetic comparative analyses of sexed(More)
Morphological traits are often genetically and/or phenotypically correlated with each other and such covariation can have an important influence on the evolution of individual traits. The strong positive relationship between brain size and body size in vertebrates has attracted a lot of interest, and much debate has surrounded the study of the factors(More)
Urban regions are among the most human-altered environments on Earth and they are poised for rapid expansion following population growth and migration. Identifying the biological traits that determine which species are likely to succeed in urbanized habitats is important for predicting global trends in biodiversity. We provide the first evidence for the(More)
Despite a massive research effort, our understanding of why, in most vertebrates, males compete for mates and females care for offspring remains incomplete. Two alternative hypotheses have been proposed to explain the direction of causality between parental care and sexual selection. Traditionally, sexual selection has been explained as a consequence of(More)
Male reproductive success is influenced by competitive interactions during precopulatory and postcopulatory selective episodes. Consequently, males can gain reproductive advantages during precopulatory contest competition by investing in weaponry and during postcopulatory sperm competition by investing in ejaculates. However, recent theory predicts male(More)
The size of the vertebrate brain is shaped by a variety of selective forces. Although larger brains (correcting for body size) are thought to confer fitness advantages, energetic limitations of this costly organ may lead to trade-offs, for example as recently suggested between sexual traits and neural tissue. Here, we examine the patterns of selection on(More)
Confirmatory path analysis is a statistical technique to build models of causal hypotheses among variables and test if the data conform with the causal model. However, classical path analysis techniques ignore the nonindependence of observations due to phylogenetic relatedness among species, possibly leading to spurious results. Here, we present a simple(More)
Colony formation was the first step towards evolution of multicellularity in many macroscopic organisms. Dictyostelid social amoebas have used this strategy for over 600 Myr to form fruiting structures of increasing complexity. To understand in which order multicellular complexity evolved, we measured 24 phenotypic characters over 99 dictyostelid species.(More)
Analyses of the macroevolutionary correlates of brain structure volumes allow pinpointing of selective pressures influencing specific structures. Here we use a multiple regression framework, including phylogenetic information, to analyze brain structure evolution in 43 Tanganyikan cichlid species. We analyzed the effect of ecological and sexually selected(More)