Research Fellows Directory
Professor Judith Mank
University College London
Males and females often show major differences in morphology, physiology, behaviour and life history, and the prevalence of sexual dimorphism in animals was sufficiently striking to prompt Darwin’s conjecture of sexual selection as a force distinct from natural selection. Sexual dimorphism is therefore arguably the most pervasive form of intra-specific diversity in the animal kingdom. Sexual dimorphism has important implications to human health given the differences observed between men and women in incidence and progression of many diseases, as well as response to treatment.
I use population genetic tools to study the strength, power and pervasiveness of sexual selection in the genome, and how these pressures result in the evolution of sexual dimorphism. Work from my lab has shown that sexual selection is as important as natural selection in shaping gene and genome evolution. We have also shown that the genome can rapidly respond to sexual selection, and that this ultimately results in the sex differences that we observe.
Interests and expertise (Subject groups)