Kaylee Byers (M.Sc. candidate) - email@example.com
My research focuses on intersexual selection and female mate choice in members of the feather mite genus Trouessartia spp. (Analgoidea: Trouessartiidae). Such selection may promote the divergence of genital morphologies among species. Previous studies on other arthropods have shown that strong phylogenetic correlations exist between changes in the morphology of female internal genitalia and the male intromittent organ. The genus Trouessartia is of particular interest as the female spermaduct (sperm-transmitting tube) ranges from being located entirely within the body to extending externally for considerable lengths. Using a molecular phylogeny of the host birds as a proxy for the mite phylogeny, I am testing whether coevolutionary relationships exist between male and female genitalia. One of the patterns I have found is that in species where females have relatively long external spermaducts, males have comparatively massive genitalia. In addition, I am currently undertaking the descriptions of several species new to science.
Locke, S.A, A.R. Lapierre, K. Byers, H. Proctor, J.D. McLaughlin and D.J. Marcogliese. 2012. Molecular and morphological evidence for the Holarctic distribution of Urogonimus macrostomus (Rudolphi, 1803) Monticelli, 1888 (Digenea: Leucochloridiidae). Journal of Parasitology 98: 880-882.
Photos, top to bottom:
KB as a parasitized ant
KB and Jeffrey Newton sampling for water mites in the Elbow River at Bragg Creek, AB
Colourized SEMs of female and male Trouessartia from Pyrrhula leucogenys