Dr. Jenny Boughman
Current Position: Professor, Zoology, Ecology, Evolutionary Biology & Behavior, BEACON Center for the Study of Evolution in Action, Michigan State University.
Does sexual selection cause speciation? This long-standing but controversial question is receiving a lot of attention currently, partly because of the special role that mate choice can play in determining gene flow. Sexual selection is thought to cause reproductive isolation when male mating signals and female preferences diversify because that can lead to sexual isolation among populations. Work at the Boughman Lab investigates behavioral and ecological causes of divergence in mating traits, the genetic basis of traits involved in sexual isolation, and are using a comparative approach to evaluate the generality of early results from model systems. This highly integrative and multilevel approach has proven powerful for uncovering the processes guiding the evolution of behavior and the processes of speciation.