Michael B Morrissey

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Adaptive evolution occurs when fitness covaries with genetic merit for a trait (or traits). The breeder's equation (BE), in both its univariate and multivariate forms, allows us to predict this process by combining estimates of selection on phenotype with estimates of genetic (co)variation. However, predictions are only valid if all factors causal for(More)
Studies of the quantitative genetics of natural populations have contributed greatly to evolutionary biology in recent years. However, while pedigree data required are often uncertain (i.e. incomplete and partly erroneous) and limited, means to evaluate the effects of such uncertainties have not been developed. We have therefore developed a general(More)
Trade-offs among life-history traits are central to evolutionary theory. In quantitative genetic terms, trade-offs may be manifested as negative genetic covariances relative to the direction of selection on phenotypic traits. Although the expression and selection of ecologically important phenotypic variation are fundamentally multivariate phenomena, the in(More)
The ecological theory of adaptive radiation predicts that the evolution of phenotypic diversity within species is generated by divergent natural selection arising from different environments and competition between species. Genetic connectivity among populations is likely also to have an important role in both the origin and maintenance of adaptive genetic(More)
The breeder's equation, which predicts evolutionary change when a phenotypic covariance exists between a heritable trait and fitness, has provided a key conceptual framework for studies of adaptive microevolution in nature. However, its application requires strong assumptions to be made about the causation of fitness variation. In its univariate form, the(More)
Analyses of pedigrees and pedigree-derived parameters (e.g. relatedness and fitness) provide some of the most informative types of studies in evolutionary biology. The r package pedantics implements tools to facilitate power and sensitivity analyses of pedigree-related studies of natural populations. Functions are available to permute pedigree data in(More)
Growing interest in the structure and dynamics of animal social networks has stimulated efforts to develop automated tracking technologies that can reliably record encounters in free-ranging subjects. A particularly promising approach is the use of animal-attached 'proximity loggers', which collect data on the incidence, duration and proximity of spatial(More)
Genotypic errors, whether due to mutation or laboratory error, can cause the genotypes of parents and their offspring to appear inconsistent with Mendelian inheritance. As a result, molecular parentage analyses are expected to benefit when allowances are made for the presence of genotypic errors. However, a cost of allowing for genotypic errors might also(More)
When traits cause variation in fitness, the distribution of phenotype, weighted by fitness, necessarily changes. The degree to which traits cause fitness variation is therefore of central importance to evolutionary biology. Multivariate selection gradients are the main quantity used to describe components of trait-fitness covariation, but they quantify the(More)
Only a handful of bird species are known to use foraging tools in the wild. Amongst them, the New Caledonian crow (Corvus moneduloides) stands out with its sophisticated tool-making skills. Despite considerable speculation, the evolutionary origins of this species' remarkable tool behaviour remain largely unknown, not least because no naturally tool-using(More)