Samuel Venner

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The impact of rare but positive events on the design of organisms has been largely ignored, probably due to the paucity of recordings of such events and to the difficulty of estimating their impact on lifetime reproductive success. In this respect, we investigated the size of spider webs in relation to rare but large prey catches. First, we collected field(More)
Sexual selection theory traditionally considers choosiness for mates to be negatively related to intra-sexual competition. Males were classically considered to be the competing, but not the choosy, sex. However, evidence of male choosiness is now accumulating. Male choosiness is expected to increase with an individual's competitive ability, and to decrease(More)
In numerous spider species, reproductive success of adult females has been shown to be positively correlated with their body mass. We suggest, however, that spiders may incur greater foraging costs as their body mass increases due to the numerous and complex locomotor bouts needed to build an orb-web. Such a body-mass-dependent cost should, in turn, affect(More)
Male choosiness for mates is an underexplored mechanism of sexual selection. A few theoretical studies suggest that males may exhibit--but only under rare circumstances--a reversed male mate choice (RMMC; i.e., highly competitive males focus on the most fecund females, while the low-quality males exclusively pair with less fecund mates to avoid being(More)
Whereas the impact of endosymbionts on the ecology of their hosts is well known in some insect species, the question of whether host communities are influenced by endosymbionts remains largely unanswered. Notably, the coexistence of host species competing with each other, which is expected to be stabilized by their ecological differences, could be(More)
Like ecological communities, which vary in species composition, eukaryote genomes differ in the amount and diversity of transposable elements (TEs) that they harbor. Given that TEs have a considerable impact on the biology of their host species, we need to better understand whether their dynamics reflects some form of organization or is primarily driven by(More)
BACKGROUND One major challenge in understanding how biodiversity is organized is finding out whether communities of competing species are shaped exclusively by species-level differences in ecological traits (niche theory), exclusively by random processes (neutral theory of biodiversity), or by both processes simultaneously. Communities of species competing(More)
Diversified bet-hedging, a strategy that leads several individuals with the same genotype to express distinct phenotypes in a given generation, is now well established as a common evolutionary response to environmental stochasticity. Life-history traits defined as diversified bet-hedging (e.g. germination or diapause strategies) display marked differences(More)
Dynamic state-dependent models have been widely developed since 1990s for solving questions in evolutionary ecology. Up to now, these models were mainly run over finite-time horizon. However, for many biological questions an infinite-time horizon perspective could be more appropriate, especially when the end of the modeled period is state- rather than(More)
Transposable elements (TEs) represent the single largest component of numerous eukaryotic genomes, and their activity and dispersal constitute an important force fostering evolutionary innovation. The horizontal transfer of TEs (HTT) between eukaryotic species is a common and widespread phenomenon that has had a profound impact on TE dynamics and,(More)