Julian Melgar

Julian Melgar

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Research

My main research question is how variation in sexual selection determines the effects of direct and indirect fitness benefits of group living and cooperation over reproduction, I am also interested in examining how this changes with ecological conditions. More specifically, my research focuses on:

  • Whether extreme environmental conditions (specifically, hot and dry climates) increase direct and indirect fitness benefits of cooperation OR whether cooperation allows species to invade extreme environments where non cooperative species cannot survive.
  • How sexual selection through mate choice and sexual competition influences rates of promiscuity and the emergence of sociality
  • How sexual selection changes with environmental conditions.

My methods include phylogenetic comparative analyses, field tests, experimental manipulations of social groups, quantitative genetics, genomic analyses and microsatellite analysis.

The comparative component of my research focuses mainly on birds and I conduct my fieldwork on populations of ostriches, Struthio camelus, in Africa.

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