evolution of the courtship phenotype

Evolution of the courtship phenotype Because bird of paradise evolution is fundamentally a story of the evolution of courtship-related traits, and these traits are inherently interwoven with behavior (ornaments evolve in context of how they are 'used' in display), I am interested in the evolution of the BOP courtship phenotype (i.e. the suite of phenotypic traits that comprise courtship and mating, including both morphology and behavior).  My interest is in understanding the origins and large-scale pathways of evolutionary transformation in the courtship phenotype among species and lineages within the BOP radiation.  This work applies a structuralist approach to the part of the phenotype most commonly dealt with from a functionalist/adaptationist point-of-view (i.e. behavior).   Specific research in this area are: a) phylogenetic ethology, b) homology, and c) hierarchical organization  and modularity in ethology.



The figure at right shows the display modules the make up the male display component of the courtship phenotype in the four biological species of the genus Parotia. (publication forthcoming)

copyright © 2011 Edwin Scholes III