Dr. Cristina Tuni
The main goal of my PhD project is to understand how sexual selection drives population divergence in polymorphisms of male sexual traits. Specifically, I will examine how sexual selection shapes the evolution of stable polymorphisms in male alternative reproductive traits in male nuptial feeding spiders. Male spiders Pisaura mirabilis use a suite of traits such as death feigning and nuptial gifts (genuine and fake) to increase their mating success. I will investigate whether these traits are fixed or variable and context dependent. Empirical data show that these traits occur in different frequencies across populations, suggesting differential selective forces among populations. To determine whether stable polymorphisms vary consistently among populations, I will quantify the frequency of polymorphisms in male traits in multiple spider populations.
Prof. Trine Bilde (Aarhus University)
Dr. Cristina Tuni (LMU)
PEER REVIEWED PUBLICATIONS
Ghislandi P., Bilde T., Tuni, C. 2015. Extreme male mating behaviours: anecdotes in a nuptial feeding spider. Arachnology 16: 273-275.
Ghislandi, P., Albo, M.J, Tuni, C., and Bilde, T. 2014. Evolution of deceit by worthless donations in a nuptial gift-giving spider. Current Zoology 60: 43-51.