CIE Seminar Series 2016 – Sexual selection and morphological diversity

Greg HolwellSPEAKER: Dr Greg Holwell, School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland, New Zealand

DATE: Friday, 22nd April 2016
LOCATION: Melbourne Campus at Burwood, BCC-Burwood Corporate Centre (please report to reception)
TIME: 1:30pm
Seminar will also be video linked to the following campuses: Geelong Campus at Waurn Ponds, Room ka4.207 (Green room) and Warrnambool Campus, Room J2.22

ABSTRACT: Naturalists have always been fascinated by sexual dimorphism. The extreme morphologies that influence male reproductive success are wonderful subjects for both nature documentaries and evolutionary research.

Morphological structures that influence male competitive success can be exaggerated and complex, but are also extraordinarily diverse and the reasons for such diversity in male sexual structures like weapons and genitals are still uncertain.

Over the last decade, my students and I have been combining single species and comparative approaches to investigate diversity in male morphology across a range of spectacular New Zealand invertebrates.

I will discuss some of the patterns we have unveiled and highlight some specific examples including the complex antennae of praying mantises, the extreme and rather comical weaponry of giraffe weevils and harvestmen, and the somewhat sinister genitalia of lichen tuft moths.

BIO: Greg Holwell spent his PhD and postdoc years at Macquarie University and is now Senior Lecturer in the School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland, New Zealand.

He is a passionate naturalist whose research focus is behavioural and evolutionary ecology. His main interest is exploring the behaviour and extraordinary morphological diversity and complexity of terrestrial invertebrates.

Appointments with guest speaker may be made via Matthew Symonds.

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