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Sinead English  

Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, UK

Le vendredi 2 décembre 2016 - 11h30 Grande Salle CEFE (1919 Rte de Mende, 1e étage, aille C)

(Seminar in English)

Conditions experienced early in life, even in the womb, can have lasting effects on later behaviour, health and reproductive success. My research has investigated this topic using a range of systems and approaches, including field studies in wild meerkats, theoretical models, and experiments in a live-bearing disease vector. I will give an overview of theoretical explanations for why individuals might be sensitive to early-life experiences and why mothers might adaptively adjust their offspring's phenotype to face environmental conditions. I will use meta-analytic approaches to examine the prevalence of these effects across diverse systems.  I will then describe current research on this topic using the tsetse fly, vector of sleeping sickness whereby females give birth to live, and relatively large, young. Understanding the pervasiveness and adaptive nature of maternal and early-life effects can be important for predicting demographic and evolutionary responses to environmental change.

Recent publications:

English, Cowen, Garnett & Hargrove (2016) Maternal effects on offspring size in a natural population of the viviparous tsetse fly. Ecological Entomology 41:618-626.

English & Uller (2016) Does early-life diet affect longevity? A meta-analysis across experimental studies. Biology Letters 12:20160291.

English, Fawcett, Higginson, Trimmer & Uller (2016) Adaptive use of information during growth can explain long-term effects of early-life experiences. The American Naturalist 187:620-632.

 

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