Michael C. Singer

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Species living in highly fragmented landscapes often occur as metapopulations with frequent population turnover. Turnover rate is known to depend on ecological factors, such as population size and connectivity, but it may also be influenced by the phenotypic and genotypic composition of populations. The Glanville fritillary butterfly (Melitaea cinxia) in(More)
Gene flow between populations that are adapting to distinct environments may be restricted if hybrids inherit maladaptive, intermediate phenotypes. This phenomenon, called extrinsic postzygotic isolation (EPI), is thought to play a critical role in the early stages of speciation. However, despite its intuitive appeal, we know surprisingly little about the(More)
BACKGROUND The isolation of microsatellite markers remains laborious and expensive. For some taxa, such as Lepidoptera, development of microsatellite markers has been particularly difficult, as many markers appear to be located in repetitive DNA and have nearly identical flanking regions. We attempted to circumvent this problem by bioinformatic mining of(More)
Previous work on the Glanville fritillary butterfly (Melitaea cinxia) shows substantial inbreeding depression in both of our two study regions, Finland and southern France. The influence of inbreeding depression on population dynamics should depend on the strength of inbreeding avoidance. We conducted mate choice experiments to ascertain whether and to what(More)
Spatial mosaics occur in both evolutionary and ecological properties of species' interactions. Studies of these patterns have facilitated description and prediction of evolutionary responses of interacting species to each other and to changing environments. We propose seeking complementary understanding of community assembly and dynamics by studying(More)
Experiments designed to reveal variation among individual parasites in preference for different host species may generate misleading results. Apparent variation in the order of preference among host species can be generated solely from variation in the strength of discriminations made within host species. We illustrate this with a study of oviposition(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)
BACKGROUND Until recently the isolation of microsatellite markers from Lepidoptera has proved troublesome, expensive and time-consuming. Following on from a previous study of Edith's checkerspot butterfly, Euphydryas editha, we developed novel microsatellite markers for the vulnerable marsh fritillary butterfly, E. aurinia. Our goal was to optimize the(More)