Larson Lab

Larson Lab

University of Denver

Our Research

In the Larson Lab, we want to understand the origins of species diversity and how evolutionary forces drive speciation. The evolution of reproductive traits is central to this process. Males and females interact in diverse ways, both before and after mating. They also interact at different organizational levels—as individuals, gametes, sex chromosomes, and genes that have evolved male and female-biased functions. The evolution of reproductive traits is at once cooperative and antagonistic. Individuals have to be able to reproduce, but males and females can have conflicting interests. We study how sexual selection and genomic conflict shape the evolution of reproduction, and how divergence in these key reproductive traits contribute to speciation.

Sex chromosome evolution

We study sex chromosome evolution and the how divergence of sex chromosomes contributes to speciation

Evolution of Spermatogenesis

We study constraint and selection in the development of male gametes and how this can lead to divergence in sperm form and function

postcopulatory sexual selection

We study how males and females interact after copulation, and the ways these traits can diverge between species

Hybrid zones and speciation

We explore all of these topics in closely related species that interact in hybrid zones, where we can directly observe species interactions


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