Bart Kempenaers

Learn More
Females in a variety of species commonly mate with multiple males, and there is evidence that they benefit by producing offspring of higher genetic quality; however, the nature of these genetic benefits is debated. Enhanced offspring survival or quality can result from intrinsic effects of paternal genes---'good genes'--or from interactions between the(More)
Molecular techniques used to assign paternity have revealed previously unknown incidences of extra-pair paternity in socially monogamous bird species. DNA fingerprinting has now been used sufficiently often for mating-system biologists to appreciate the natural variation in the frequency of broods showing extra-pair young. The variation between species and(More)
In comparison with most animal behaviours, circadian rhythms have a well-characterized molecular genetic basis. Detailed studies of circadian clock genes in 'model' organisms provide a foundation for interpreting the functional and evolutionary significance of polymorphic circadian clock genes found within free-living animal populations. Here, we describe(More)
Matings between close relatives often reduce the fitness of offspring, probably because homozygosity leads to the expression of recessive deleterious alleles. Studies of several animals have shown that reproductive success is lower when genetic similarity between parents is high, and that survival and other measures of fitness increase with individual(More)
Kees van Oers1,2,3), Gerdien de Jong4), Arie J. van Noordwijk2), B. Kempenaers1) & Pieter J. Drent2) (1 Max-Planck Institute for Ornithology, Department of Behavioural Ecology and Evolutionary Genetics, PO Box 1564, D-82319 Starnberg (Seewiesen), Germany; 2 Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW), Department of Animal Population Biology, PO Box 40,(More)
Allocation trade-offs between the immune system and sexual traits are central to current sexual selection hypotheses but remain contentious. Such trade-offs could be brought about by the dual action of testosterone that stimulates sexual signals but also suppresses immune functions and/or by competition for carotenoids that can be deposited in ornaments or(More)
Understanding the causes and consequences of variation in the rate of recombination is essential since this parameter is considered to affect levels of genetic variability, the efficacy of selection, and the design of association and linkage mapping studies. However, there is limited knowledge about the factors governing recombination rate variation. We(More)
The zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) is a small Australian grassland songbird that has been domesticated over the past two centuries. Because it is easy to breed in captivity, it has become a widely used study organism, especially in behavioural research. Most work has been conducted on domesticated populations maintained at numerous laboratories in Europe(More)
In socially monogamous species, extra-pair paternity can increase the variance in reproductive success and thereby the potential for sexual selection on male ornaments. We studied whether male secondary sexual ornaments are selected through within- and/or extra-pair reproductive success in the blue tit (Parus caeruleus). Male blue tits display a bright blue(More)
Associated with a continued global increase in urbanization, anthropogenic light pollution is an important problem. However, our understanding of the ecological consequences of light pollution is limited. We investigated effects of artificial night lighting on dawn song in five common forest-breeding songbirds. In four species, males near street lights(More)