My research interests rely on understanding how the costs of parental care affect the direction and the strength of sexual selection, particularly how the co-evolution of male and female reproductive strategies are affected by the extent of paternal effort, using both theoretical and empirical approaches. Since the beginning of my undergraduate course I have been interested in evolutionary ecology and animal behavior. Therefore, the field of behavioral ecology was the obvious pathway that I could have followed. As a graduate student, I studied harvestmen with exclusive paternal care and addressed questions related to the costs and benefits of parental behavior, mate choice, and male attractiveness. In my previous postdoc, I incorporated mathematical modeling into my research programme, building sperm competition models that considered the social context (both intra- and inter-sexual interactions) and male allocation to parental effort, a feature that has largely been neglected by sperm competition theory. In my current postdoc, I will explore a new theoretical framework to investigate the co-evolution between paternal effort and traits (in males and females) that bias paternity, incorporating biological realism from species with male-only care into game theory and quantitative genetic models.
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