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The Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) is the most important genetic marker to study patterns of adaptive genetic variation determining pathogen resistance and associated life history decisions. It is used in many different research fields ranging from human medical, molecular evolutionary to functional biodiversity studies. Correct assessment of the(More)
In seasonal environments, many species concentrate their reproduction in the time of year most likely to maximize offspring survival. Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) inhabit regions with seasonal climate, but females can still experience 16-week reproductive cycles throughout the year. Whether female elephants nevertheless concentrate births on periods(More)
Concern about climate change has intensified interest in understanding how climatic variability affects animal life histories. Despite such effects being potentially most dramatic in large, long-lived, and slowly reproducing terrestrial mammals, little is known of the effects of climatic variation on survival in those species. Asian elephants (Elephas(More)
Recent human history is marked by demographic transitions characterized by declines in mortality and fertility. By influencing the variance in those fitness components, demographic transitions can affect selection on other traits. Parallel to changes in selection triggered by demography per se, relationships between fitness and anthropometric traits are(More)
Environmental conditions experienced in early life can influence an individual's growth and long-term health, and potentially also that of their offspring. However, such developmental effects on intergenerational outcomes have rarely been studied. Here we investigate intergenerational effects of early environment in humans using survey- and clinic-based(More)
The immune system imposes costs that may have to be traded against investment of resources in other costly life-history traits. Yet, it is unknown if a trade-off between immunity and longevity occurs in free-ranging mammals. Here, we tested if age and survival, two aspects associated with longevity, are linked to immune parameters in an 8 g bat species.(More)
Kin selection theory provides a strong theoretical framework to explain the evolution of altruism and cooperative behaviour among genetically related individuals. However, the proximate mechanisms underlying kin discrimination, a necessary process to express kin-related behaviour, remain poorly known. In particular, no study has yet unambiguously(More)
Establishing links between ecological variation, physiological markers of stress and demography is crucial for understanding how and why changes in environmental conditions affect population dynamics, and may also play a key role for conservation efforts of endangered species. However, detailed longitudinal studies of long-lived species are rarely(More)
Because weevils are used as biocontrol agents against thistles, it is important to document and understand host shifts and the evolution of host-specificity in these insects. Furthermore, such host shifts are of fundamental interest to mechanisms of speciation. The mediterranean weevil Larinus cynarae normally parasitizes either one of two thistle genera,(More)
Although significantly more money is spent on the conservation of tigers than on any other threatened species, today only 3200 to 3600 tigers roam the forests of Asia, occupying only 7% of their historical range. Despite the global significance of and interest in tiger conservation, global approaches to plan tiger recovery are partly impeded by the lack of(More)