Journal Pub (aka “Beer Review”)

In addition to Science Drinks and our regular meetings concerning day-to-day research problems, one of the new traditions we began in 2013 is something called Journal Pub. As you might expect, this is like a Journal Club but with beer, which will undoubtedly make it better.Each of the lab members reads two papers in advance of the Journal Pub. Usually, for the first of these papers, one person will be the chief reviewer, and must prepare a brief summary of the work, in both oral (at the Journal Club) and written (for the website) forms. For the second paper, that person is the adjunct reviewer, responsible for reading the work and contributing materially to its discussion. We don’t always take an adversarial stance when the chief reviewer presents his or her summary, but that is often more fun. After the brief summary, we ask questions as a group, and try to knit together the contributions of many eminent scientists over decades of research: a kind of “quick catch up to state of the art” for a subfield in evolutionary biology.

As you can see from the section below, we post our brief summaries of both classic and recent papers (along with links) right here on the website, so that we can exploit our numbers to get a quick (if a bit superficial) sense of some important papers in each of several corners of our research field. We treat this corner of the website as a resource and discussion board as we reflect about the major questions in our science. The broad list of topics will evolve as we work through different concepts, so rather than posting promises of what’s to come, I will just explain the first topic for now (more to come soon!):

Mating systems

I argue that the main challenge facing modern evolutionary biologists is to explain biodiversity. In this context, what determines sex-roles and mating systems is one of my big preoccupations, because the fascinating diversity of sexual behaviour we find in nature is far more easily studied if we can categorize and compare very different species. In this first session of Journal Club, we’re going to tackle some of the biggest and most influential papers on sexual selection in the last half-century. Below I provide links to the papers we will tackle on Nov. 26, as well as indicating who is assigned as chief (C) and adjunct (A) reviewer for each one.

Nov 26 2013 Journal Pub References

(Note some links will only work if you are logged in to the Univ. of Stirling Portal)

AJ Bateman 1948 (C: Gregor; A: Tom)
Intrasexual selection in Drosophila. Heredity 2: 349-368 (Our summary here)

RL Trivers 1972 (C: Luc; A: Hazel)
Parental investment and sexual selection. In B. Campbell (Ed.), Sexual selection and the descent of man, 1871-1971 (pp. 136–179). Chicago, IL: Aldine. (Our summary here)

ST Emlen & LW Oring 1977 (C: Tom; A: Claudia)
Ecology, sexual selection, and the evolution of mating systems Science 197:215-223 (Our summary here)

SJ Arnold & D Duvall 1994 (C: Toby; A: Luc)
Animal mating systems: a synthesis based on selection theory. Am. Nat. 143: 317-348 (Our summary here)

MJ Wade & SM Shuster 2002 (C: Sam; A: Lilly; Hazel)
The evolution of parental care in the context of sexual selection: A critical reassessment of parental investment theory. Am. Nat. 160: 285-292 (Our summary here)

H Kokko, H Klug & MD Jennions 2012 (C: Lilly; A: Gregor)
Unifying cornerstones of sexual selection: operational sex ratio, Bateman gradient and the scope for competitive investment. Ecol. Letters 15:1340-1351 (Our summary here)

K Fritzsche & G Arnqvist 2013 (C: Claudia; A: Sam; Toby)
Homage to Bateman: Sex roles predict sex differences in sexual selection. Evolution 67: 1926-1936 (Our summary here)

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