ARC Success for the SEX LAB

Yesterday’s ARC Grants announcements held two pieces of particularly good news for the SEX LAB.

1. Dr Michael Kasumovic was awarded a Discovery Grant for a project titled  “Adaptive plasticity and evolution: linking the genotype and the environment to understand phenotypic evolution and expression”. This is the  first genomics project ever funded in our lab.


SUMMARY: Different environmental signals alter when and where specific genes are expressed, thereby altering the phenotype. This project will examine the differences in the timing and use of genes in response to cues of competition that result in differences between the sexes. This will increase our understanding of the role of genes in sexual evolution.

2. Rob Brooks and Barnaby Dixson were awarded a Discovery Grant for the first ever human project funded in our lab. Project title: Body size in the 21st century: integrating evolution, economics and culture.  

SUMMARY: This project will study how evolution and biology interact with culture and economics to shape two important aspects of our world and our lives: the unfolding global obesity crisis and the complex, nuanced judgments people make about body shape. This research will inform the public health issues of obesity and body image problems.

For more on body research and to take part in our preliminary research projects, visit



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Rob Brooks

I am an evolutionary biologist who thinks about sex for a living. Things I have thought and written about include the evolution of mate choice, the costs of being attractive, the reason animals age and the links between sex, diet, obesity and death. Follow @Brooks_Rob on Twitter.

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