Alexandre Roulin

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In vertebrates, melanin-based coloration is often associated with variation in physiological and behavioural traits. We propose that this association stems from pleiotropic effects of the genes regulating the synthesis of brown to black eumelanin. The most important regulators are the melanocortin 1 receptor and its ligands, the melanocortin agonists and(More)
One hypothesis for the maintenance of genetic variation states that alternative genotypes are adapted to different environmental conditions (i.e., genotype-by-environment interaction G×E) that vary in space and time. Although G×E has been demonstrated for morphological traits, little evidence has been given whether these G×E are associated with traits used(More)
Current theory proposes that nestlings beg to signal hunger level to parents honestly, or that siblings compete by escalating begging to attract the attention of parents. Although begging is assumed to be directed at parents, barn owl (Tyto alba) nestlings vocalize in the presence but also in the absence of the parents. Applying the theory of asymmetrical(More)
The hypothesis that ornaments can honestly signal quality only if their expression is condition-dependent has dominated the study of the evolution and function of colour traits. Much less interest has been devoted to the adaptive function of colour traits for which the expression is not, or is to a low extent, sensitive to body condition and the environment(More)
In contradiction to sexual selection theory, several studies showed that although the expression of melanin-based ornaments is usually under strong genetic control and weakly sensitive to the environment and body condition, they can signal individual quality. Covariation between a melanin-based ornament and phenotypic quality may result from pleiotropic(More)
Behavioral and physiological responses to unpredictable changes in environmental conditions are, in part, mediated by glucocorticoids (corticosterone in birds). In polymorphic species, individuals of the same sex and age display different heritable melanin-based color morphs, associated with physiological and reproductive parameters and possibly alternative(More)
Ecological parameters vary in space, and the resulting heterogeneity of selective forces can drive adaptive population divergence. Clinal variation represents a classical model to study the interplay of gene flow and selection in the dynamics of this local adaptation process. Although geographic variation in phenotypic traits in discrete populations could(More)
Sex-dependent selection often leads to spectacularly different phenotypes in males and females. In species in which sexual dimorphism is not complete, it is unclear which benefits females and males derive from displaying a trait that is typical of the other sex. In barn owls (Tyto alba), females exhibit on average larger black eumelanic spots than males but(More)
Owing to its special mode of evolution and central role in the adaptive immune system, the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) has become the focus of diverse disciplines such as immunology, evolutionary ecology, and molecular evolution. MHC evolution has been studied extensively in diverse vertebrate lineages over the last few decades, and it has been(More)