Sex and Evolution Research Group (SERG)
“Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution” (Theodosius Dobzhansky 1973)
"Nothing in evolution makes sense except in the light of sex" (SERG 2013)
The sexual ornamentation of the male bluethroat (Luscinia svecica) is molded by female sense of beauty exerted through generations of mate choice. Photo: Bjørn Aksel Bjerke.
Most species on Earth exist in two versions, as males and females. Closely related species often differ only in sexual traits. Thus, sex is a key to understand evolution and speciation. Our research group seeks new insights to the role of sex in evolutionary processes. We study genes, gametes, behaviour and morphology at the level of individuals, populations and species. Birds are our primary research objects.
Science is about understanding "why" and "how". We seek the answers to:
- Why do the sexes look so similar in some species and different in others?
- Why are some species sexually monogamous while others are promiscuous?
- Why are sperm cells so variable in size and shape?
- How does reproductive isolation arise in a speciation process? Are sexual traits crucial?