Parental care and evolutionary change

Parental care and evolutionary change


The Nicrophorus genus is over 10 times more speciose than other genera in the Nicrophorinae. Its member species also exhibit far more elaborate forms of parental care than is seen in the sister genera. Could these two observations be causally related? We are using experimental evolution and selection experiments on N. vespilloides to test whether parental care facilitates evolutionary change.

The people working on this research question are:

Benjamin Jarrett and Darren Rebar


Kilner, R. M., Boncoraglio, G., Henshaw, J. M., Jarrett, B.J.M., de Gasperin, O. & Kokko, H. 2015. Parental effects alter the adaptive value of an adult behavioural trait. eLife doi: 10.7554/eLife.07340

Attisano, A. & Kilner, R. M. 2015. Parental effects and flight behaviour in the burying beetle Nicrophorus vespilloides. Animal Behaviour 108: 91-100. doi:10.1016/j.anbehav.2015.07.020

Schrader, M., Jarrett, B. J. M., & Kilner , R. M. 2015 Using experimental evolution to study adaptations for life within the family. American Naturalist 185: 610-619, doi:10.1086/680500

Schrader, M., B. J. M. Jarrett, and R. M. Kilner. 2015. Parental care masks a density-dependent shift from cooperation to competition in burying beetle broods. Evolution 69: 1077-1084, doi:10.1111/evo.12615