Adaptive evolution of mutual mate preferences in nature (2009–2010)
Mate preferences are ubiquitous in nature and it has long been recognised that the sexual selection they generate may have important consequences for the evolution of biodiversity. This is especially true when preferences differ among populations, a situation that appears common in nature. Despite much attention being given to their role in the evolution of extravagant sexual display traits, less work has focused on understanding the mechanisms by which they diverge among populations. Using a native Drosophila model, we will test for adaptive genetic divergence in male and female mate preferences among natural populations. Our results will have important consequences for how we view mating decisions as a generator of phenotypic diversity.