by Jordan Pennells Examples of coevolution are not only pervasive between species in nature, but are intimately linked to the complex evolution of plants and animals themselves. Mitochondria, commonly proclaimed as the 'powerhouse of the cell', was likely once a bacterial entity that infected a primordial eukaryotic cell. While the bacteria found a safe habitat … Continue reading Coevolution

Evolution of Sociality

The basis of evolution is to pass on traits that improve an individual's chance of survival and reproduction (fitness) to the next generation. An important example of one of these traits is social behaviour; how do individuals interact together to optimise their fitness? Sociality in nature can range from bees, where the majority of the … Continue reading Evolution of Sociality

Trade-offs and Pleiotropy

In genetics, pleiotropy can be defined as one gene affecting multiple traits, or more specifically a single mutation having a consequence on multiple aspects of the organism's phenotype. Developmental body plans are largely pleiotropic, such that they are controlled by the same genetic architecture. An allele that increases height in males will most likely increase … Continue reading Trade-offs and Pleiotropy

Evolution by Natural Selection

There's no doubt that the most instrumental contribution to the field of biology was Darwin's Theory of Evolution. It is important to note that when we use the term 'Theory', we aren't using the general definition (which is often misquoted by opponents of evolution), but rather the specific scientific definition: Theory (general): "a hypothesis assumed … Continue reading Evolution by Natural Selection