Rebecca F. Dean

Learn More
Male reproductive success is an extremely variable fitness component. Understanding the maintenance of this variation is a key challenge in evolutionary biology. An often neglected source of variation in male reproductive success is determined by age-dependent patterns of decline in sperm fitness. Two pathways mediate sperm senescence: pre-meiotic(More)
In addition to initial sex determination, genes on the sex chromosomes are theorized to play a particularly important role in phenotypic differences between males and females. Sex chromosomes in many species display molecular signatures consistent with these theoretical predictions, particularly through sex-specific gene expression. However, the phenotypic(More)
The profound and pervasive differences in gene expression observed between males and females, and the unique evolutionary properties of these genes in many species, have led to the widespread assumption that they are the product of sexual selection and sexual conflict. However, we still lack a clear understanding of the connection between sexual selection(More)
Mitochondrial interactions with the nuclear genome represent one of life's most important co-evolved mutualisms. In many organisms, mitochondria are maternally inherited, and in these cases, co-transmission between the mitochondrial and nuclear genes differs across different parts of the nuclear genome, with genes on the X chromosome having two-third(More)
The elevated rate of evolution for genes on sex chromosomes compared with autosomes (Fast-X or Fast-Z evolution) can result either from positive selection in the heterogametic sex or from nonadaptive consequences of reduced relative effective population size. Recent work in birds suggests that Fast-Z of coding sequence is primarily due to relaxed purifying(More)
The realization that senescence, age-dependent declines in survival and reproductive performance, pervades natural populations has brought its evolutionary significance into sharper focus. However, reproductive senescence remains poorly understood because it is difficult to separate male and female mechanisms underpinning reproductive success. We(More)
Males and females share most of their genomes, and differences between the sexes can therefore not evolve through sequence divergence in protein coding genes. Sexual dimorphism is instead restricted to occur through sex-specific expression and splicing of gene products. Evolution of sexual dimorphism through these mechanisms should, however, also be(More)
Evolutionary conflict permeates biological systems. In sexually reproducing organisms, sex-specific optima mean that the same allele can have sexually antagonistic expression, i.e. beneficial in one sex and detrimental in the other, a phenomenon known as intralocus sexual conflict. Intralocus sexual conflict is emerging as a potentially fundamental factor(More)