Manus M. Patten


Assistant Professor of the Practice


Department of Biology


Sex-specific selection: In most species there are two sexes that may not experience the same selection pressures. I explore the theoretical consequences of these simple facts on a number of fronts. I examine how gene frequencies change and how genomic architecture evolves when selection differs between the sexes.   

Parent-of-origin-specific selection: As sure as sex-specific selection can exist in a population with two sexes, so too can parent-of-origin-specific selection.  The optimal allele in one parent-of-origin context may not be the optimal allele in the other parent-of-origin context, creating parental antagonism.  This is a relatively unexplored form of selection that may favor the evolution of genomic imprinting and other hereditary phenomena.

Sexual dimorphism for gene expression: A wealth of data shows that genes are expressed at different levels in the two sexes.  My research investigates whether these data fit any theoretical predictions from available sex-specific selection models and whether our current theory encompasses all possibilities.