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Recent studies of several species have reported a latitudinal cline in the circadian clock gene, Clock, which influences rhythms in both physiology and behavior. Latitudinal variation in this gene may hence reflect local adaptation to seasonal variation. In some bird populations, there is also an among-individual association between Clock poly-Q genotype(More)
Vertebrates respond to environmental stressors through the neuro-endocrine stress response, which involves the production of glucocorticoids. We have selected independent, duplicate divergent lines of zebra finches for high, low and control corticosterone responses to a mild stressor. This experiment has shown that over the first four generations, the high(More)
Sexually selected signals of individual dominance have profound effects on access to resources, mate choice and gene flow. However, why such signals should honestly reflect individual quality is poorly understood. Many such signals are known to develop under the influence of testosterone. We conducted an experiment in male house sparrows in which(More)
The effects of environmental stress on the physiology and behaviour of higher vertebrates has become an important avenue of research in recent years. Evidence from recent studies has suggested that the avian stress-related hormone corticosterone (CORT) may play a role in immunocompetence and sexual selection. We tested whether CORT is immunosuppressive by(More)
The existence of consistent individual differences in behavioral strategies ("personalities" or coping styles) has been reported in several animal species. Recent work in great tits has shown that such traits are heritable and exhibit significant genetic variation. Free-living birds respond to environmental stresses by up-regulating corticosterone(More)
The handicap theory of sexual selection suggests that females prefer mates who display extravagant ornaments that advertise their quality or condition. It is often assumed that as such ornamental traits undergo sexually-selected exaggeration, they must inevitably become more sensitive to condition, and thus more informative. Here, we show that this is not(More)
Human societies, and their well-being, depend to a significant extent on the state of the ecosystems that surround them. These ecosystems are changing rapidly usually in response to anthropogenic changes in the environment. To determine the likely impact of environmental change on ecosystems and the best ways to manage them, it would be desirable to be able(More)
Evolutionary change is a characteristic of living organisms and forms one of the ways in which species adapt to changed conditions. However, most ecological models do not incorporate this ubiquitous phenomenon. We have developed a model that takes a 'phenotypic gambit' approach and focuses on changes in the frequency of phenotypes (which differ in timing of(More)
Models of sexual selection suggest that mate-choice preferences are favored because differences between males in their degree of ornamental exaggeration convey useful information about the direct or indirect benefits they have to offer [1-5]. Such arguments assume that variation in male ornament size can be attributed to variation in the degree of sexually(More)