melissar

Image of person
Could not get user data from external service

Academic interests

Broadly, my research aims to understand how ecology and evolution shape the reproductive biology and behaviour of individuals. I am particularly interested in the evolution of ejaculates, including sperm and non-sperm components. Sperm are especially interesting because they are the most morphologically variable cell type known, and yet our understanding of the evolutionary causes and adaptive significance of this variation remains limited. Thus a recurrent theme in my research is to understand the evolutionary consequences of postcopulatory sexual selection, especially in terms of morphological diversification of sperm cells, and the adaptive and functional significance of sperm diversity. Moreover, because both sperm and non-sperm components of the ejaculate can contribute to fitness, I am also interested in the evolution and functionality of non-sperm components of the ejaculate. While much of my research has focused on passerine birds, I have worked with a variety of taxa (e.g. mammals, millipedes) in order to try and understand the universality of evolutionary patterns and processes.

With support from a Research Council of Norway Young Research Talent grant, I recently began a new project investigating sperm-pathogen interactions and the evolution of ejaculate antimicrobial defences in birds. This project integrates organismal and molecular approaches to develop a systems level understanding of the role of bacteria in the evolution of avian seminal fluid and factors that minimise bacterial-induced sperm defects and limit the transmission of STDs.

Tags: Evolution, Behavioural ecology, Sexual selection, Australia, Germany, Japan, USA

Publications

  • Rowe, Melissah; van Oort, Annabel; Brouwer, Lyanne; Lifjeld, Jan Terje; Webster, Michael S. & Welklin, Joseph F. [Show all 7 contributors for this article] (2022). Sperm Numbers as a Paternity Guard in a Wild Bird. Cells. ISSN 2073-4409. 11(2). doi: 10.3390/cells11020231.
  • da Costa Carneiro, Diana Elisa; Czirják, Gábor Árpád & Rowe, Melissah (2020). Innate and adaptive immune proteins in the preen gland secretions of male house sparrows. Journal of Avian Biology. ISSN 0908-8857. 51(11), p. 1–9. doi: 10.1111/jav.02556. Full text in Research Archive
  • Omotoriogun, Taiwo Crossby; Albrecht, Tomas; Gohli, Jostein; Horák, David; Johannessen, Lars Erik & Johnsen, Arild [Show all 12 contributors for this article] (2020). Sperm length variation among Afrotropical songbirds reflects phylogeny rather than adaptations to the tropical environment. Zoology. ISSN 0944-2006. 140. doi: 10.1016/j.zool.2020.125770. Full text in Research Archive
  • Hurley, Laura; Rowe, Melissah & Griffith, Simon (2020). Reproductive coordination breeds success: the importance of the partnership in avian sperm biology. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. ISSN 0340-5443. 74(3), p. 1–13. doi: 10.1007/s00265-019-2782-9. Full text in Research Archive
  • Rowe, Melissah; Veerus, Liisa; Trosvik, Pål; Buckling, Angus & Pizzari, Tommaso (2020). The reproductive microbiome: An emerging driver of sexual selection, sexual conflict, mating systems, and reproductive isolation. Trends in Ecology & Evolution. ISSN 0169-5347. 35(3), p. 220–234. doi: 10.1016/j.tree.2019.11.004. Full text in Research Archive
  • Rowe, Melissah; Whittington, Emma; Borziak, Kirill; Ravinet, Mark; Eroukhmanoff, Fabrice & Sætre, Glenn-Peter [Show all 7 contributors for this article] (2019). Molecular diversification of the seminal fluid proteome in a recently diverged passerine species pair. Molecular Biology and Evolution (MBE). ISSN 0737-4038. 37(2), p. 488–506. doi: 10.1093/molbev/msz235. Full text in Research Archive
  • Calhim, Sara; Pruett-Jones, Stephen; Webster, Michael S & Rowe, Melissah (2019). Asymmetries in reproductive anatomy: insights from promiscuous songbirds . Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. ISSN 0024-4066. 128(3), p. 569–582. doi: 10.1093/biolinnean/blz100.
  • Lifjeld, Jan Terje; Gohli, Jostein; Albrecht, Tomas; Garcia-del-Rey, Eduardo; Johannessen, Lars Erik & Kleven, Oddmund [Show all 10 contributors for this article] (2019). Evolution of female promiscuity in Passerides songbirds. BMC Evolutionary Biology. ISSN 1471-2148. 19(1). doi: 10.1186/s12862-019-1493-1. Full text in Research Archive
  • Støstad, Hanna Nyborg; Rowe, Melissah; Johnsen, Arild; Tomasek, Oldrich; Albrecht, Tomas & Lifjeld, Jan Terje (2019). Sperm head abnormalities are associated with excessive omega-6 fatty acids in two finch species feeding on sunflower seeds. Journal of Avian Biology. ISSN 0908-8857. 50(3), p. 1–12. doi: 10.1111/jav.02056. Full text in Research Archive
  • Cramer, Emily Rebecca A; Rowe, Melissah; Eroukhmanoff, Fabrice; Lifjeld, Jan Terje; Sætre, Glenn-Peter & Johnsen, Arild (2019). Measuring sperm swimming performance in birds: effects of dilution, suspension medium, mechanical agitation, and sperm number. Journal of Ornithology = Journal fur Ornithologie. ISSN 0021-8375. p. 1–11. doi: 10.1007/s10336-019-01672-9. Full text in Research Archive
  • Støstad, Hanna Nyborg; Rowe, Melissah; Johnsen, Arild & Lifjeld, Jan Terje (2019). Sperm head abnormalities are more frequent in songbirds with more helical sperm: A possible trade-off in sperm evolution. Journal of Evolutionary Biology. ISSN 1010-061X. p. 1–9. doi: 10.1111/jeb.13446. Full text in Research Archive
  • Mohr, Alex E; Girard, Marc; Rowe, Melissah; McGraw, Kevin J. & Sweazea, Karen L (2019). Varied effects of dietary carotenoid supplementation on oxidative damage in tissues of two waterfowl species. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology - Part B: Biochemistry & Molecular Biology. ISSN 1096-4959. 231, p. 67–74. doi: 10.1016/j.cbpb.2019.02.003.
  • Supriya, K.; Price, Trevor & Rowe, Melissah (2019). Resource variation generates positive correlations between pre- and postcopulatory sexual traits. Behavioral Ecology. ISSN 1045-2249. 30(2), p. 341–347. doi: 10.1093/beheco/ary170. Full text in Research Archive
  • Rowe, Melissah; Skerget, Sheri; Rosenow, Matthew A & Karr, Timothy L (2019). Identification and characterization of the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) sperm proteome. Journal of Proteomics. ISSN 1874-3919. 193, p. 192–204. doi: 10.1016/j.jprot.2018.10.009. Full text in Research Archive
  • Supriya, K.; Price, Trevor & Rowe, Melissah (2018). Positive correlations between pre- and post-copulatory sexual traits in warblers. Journal of Avian Biology. ISSN 0908-8857. 49(5). doi: 10.1111/jav.01694. Full text in Research Archive
  • Hurley, Laura L; Rowe, Melissah & Griffith, Simon C. (2018). Differential sperm-egg interactions in experimental pairings between two subspecies and their hybrids in a passerine bird. Ecology and Evolution. ISSN 2045-7758. p. 1–8. doi: 10.1002/ece3.4624. Full text in Research Archive
  • Støstad, Hanna Nyborg; Johnsen, Arild; Lifjeld, Jan Terje & Rowe, Melissah (2018). Sperm head morphology is associated with sperm swimming speed: a comparative study of songbirds using electron microscopy. Evolution. ISSN 0014-3820. 72(9), p. 1918–1932. doi: 10.1111/evo.13555. Full text in Research Archive
  • Hurley, Laura L.; McDiarmid, Callum S; Friesen, Christopher R.; Griffith, Simon C. & Rowe, Melissah (2018). Experimental heatwaves negatively impact sperm quality in the zebra finch. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Biological Sciences. ISSN 0962-8452. 285(1871). doi: 10.1098/rspb.2017.2547. Full text in Research Archive
  • Eroukhmanoff, Fabrice; Rowe, Melissah; Cramer, Emily Rebecca A; Haas, Fredrik; Hermansen, Jo Skeie & Runemark, Anna [Show all 8 contributors for this article] (2016). Experimental evidence for ovarian hypofunction in sparrow hybrids. Avian Research. ISSN 2053-7166. 7. doi: 10.1186/s40657-016-0038-1.
  • K, Supriya; Rowe, Melissah; Laskemoen, Terje; Mohan, Dhananjai; Price, Trevor & Lifjeld, Jan Terje (2016). Early diversification of sperm size in the evolutionary history of the old world leaf warblers (Phylloscopidae). Journal of Evolutionary Biology. ISSN 1010-061X. 29(4), p. 777–789. doi: 10.1111/jeb.12826. Full text in Research Archive
  • Omotoriogun, Taiwo Crossby; Laskemoen, Terje; Rowe, Melissah; Albrecht, Tomáš; Bowie, Rauri C.K. & Sedláček, Ondřej [Show all 9 contributors for this article] (2016). Variation in sperm morphology among Afrotropical sunbirds. IBIS. ISSN 0019-1019. 158, p. 155–166. doi: 10.1111/ibi.12334. Full text in Research Archive
  • Omotoriogun, Taiwo Crossby; Albrecht, Tomas; Hořak, David; Laskemoen, Terje; Ottosson, Ulf & Rowe, Melissah [Show all 8 contributors for this article] (2016). Sperm size evolution in African greenbuls (Passeriformes: Pycnonotidae). Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. ISSN 0024-4066. 117(2), p. 337–349. doi: 10.1111/bij.12663. Full text in Research Archive
  • Rowe, Melissah; Griffith, Simon C.; Hofgaard, Antje & Lifjeld, Jan Terje (2015). Subspecific variation in sperm morphology and performance in the Long-tailed Finch (Poephila acuticauda). Avian Research. ISSN 2053-7166. 6:23, p. 1–10. doi: 10.1186/s40657-015-0032-z.
  • Rowe, Melissah; Pierson, Kasey L & McGraw, Kevin J. (2015). Exploratory behavior is associated with plasma carotenoid accumulation in two congeneric species of waterfowl. Behavioural Processes. ISSN 0376-6357. 115, p. 181–190. doi: 10.1016/j.beproc.2015.04.008.
  • Rowe, Melissah; Albrecht, Tomas; Cramer, Emily Rebecca A; Johnsen, Arild; Laskemoen, Terje & Weir, Jason T [Show all 7 contributors for this article] (2015). Postcopulatory sexual selection is associated with accelerated evolution of sperm morphology. Evolution. ISSN 0014-3820. 69(4), p. 1044–1052. doi: 10.1111/evo.12620.
  • Cramer, Emily Rebecca A; Laskemoen, Terje; Stensrud, Even; Rowe, Melissah; Haas, Fredrik & Lifjeld, Jan Terje [Show all 8 contributors for this article] (2015). Morphology-function relationships and repeatability in the sperm of Passer sparrows. Journal of morphology. ISSN 0362-2525. 276(4), p. 370–377. doi: 10.1002/jmor.20346.
  • Dale, Svein; Lifjeld, Jan Terje & Rowe, Melissah (2015). Commonness and ecology, but not bigger brains, predict urban living in birds. BMC Ecology. ISSN 1472-6785. 15. doi: 10.1186/s12898-015-0044-x. Full text in Research Archive
  • Cramer, Emily Rebecca A; Laskemoen, Terje; Eroukhmanoff, Fabrice; Haas, Fredrik; Hermansen, Jo Skeie & Lifjeld, Jan Terje [Show all 9 contributors for this article] (2014). Testing a post-copulatory pre-zygotic reproductive barrier in a passerine species pair. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. ISSN 0340-5443. 68(7), p. 1133–1144. doi: 10.1007/s00265-014-1724-9.
  • Rowe, Melissah ; Czirják, Gabor; Lifjeld, Jan Terje & Giraudeau, Mathieu (2013). Lysozyme-associated bactericidal activity in the ejaculate of a wild passerine. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. ISSN 0024-4066. 109(1), p. 92–100. doi: 10.1111/bij.12044.
  • Rowe, Melissah ; Laskemoen, Terje; Johnsen, Arild & Lifjeld, Jan Terje (2013). Evolution of sperm structure and energetics in passerine birds. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Biological Sciences. ISSN 0962-8452. 280(1753). doi: 10.1098/rspb.2012.2616.
  • Hermosell, Ignacio Garcia; Laskemoen, Terje; Rowe, Melissah ; Møller, Anders P.; Mousseau, Timothy A. & Albrecht, Tomas [Show all 7 contributors for this article] (2013). Patterns of sperm damage in Chernobyl passerine birds suggest a trade-off between sperm length and integrity. Biology Letters. ISSN 1744-9561. 9(5:20130530 ). doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2013.0530.
  • Rowe, Melissah & Pruett-Jones, Stephen (2013). Extra-pair paternity, sperm competition and their evolutionary consequences in the Maluridae. Emu (Print). ISSN 0158-4197. 113(3), p. 218–231. doi: 10.1071/MU12084.
  • Tourmente, Maximiliano; Rowe, Melissah ; Gonzalez-Barroso, M. Mar; Rial, Eduardo; Gomendio, Montserrat & Roldan, Eduardo R.S. (2013). POSTCOPULATORY SEXUAL SELECTION INCREASES ATP CONTENT IN RODENT SPERMATOZOA. Evolution. ISSN 0014-3820. 67(6), p. 1838–1846. doi: 10.1111/evo.12079.
  • Lifjeld, Jan Terje; Hoenen, Antje; Johannessen, Lars Erik; Laskemoen, Terje; Lopes, Ricardo J. & Rodrigues, Pedro M. [Show all 7 contributors for this article] (2013). The Azores bullfinch (Pyrrhula murina) has the same unusual and size-variable sperm morphology as the Eurasian bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula). Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. ISSN 0024-4066. 108(3), p. 677–687. doi: 10.1111/j.1095-8312.2012.02040.x.
  • Rowe, Melissah ; Tourville, Elizabeth & McGraw, Kevin (2012). Carotenoids in bird testes: links to body carotenoid supplies, plumage coloration, body mass and testis size in house finches (Carpodacus mexicanus). Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology - Part B: Biochemistry & Molecular Biology. ISSN 1096-4959. 163, p. 285–291. doi: 10.1016/j.cbpb.2012.06.005.
  • Butler, Michael W.; Toomey, Matthew B.; McGraw, Kevin J. & Rowe, Melissah Mary (2012). Ontogenetic immune challenges shape adult personality in mallard ducks. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Biological Sciences. ISSN 0962-8452. 279(1727), p. 326–333. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2011.0842.
  • Rowe, Melissah Mary; Czirjak, Gabor A.; McGraw, Kevin J. & Giraudeau, Mathieu (2011). Sexual ornamentation reflects antibacterial activity of ejaculates in mallards. Biology Letters. ISSN 1744-9561. 7(5), p. 740–742. doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2011.0276.
  • Rowe, Melissah Mary & Pruett-Jones, Stephen (2011). Sperm Competition Selects for Sperm Quantity and Quality in the Australian Maluridae. PLOS ONE. ISSN 1932-6203. 6(1). doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0015720.

View all works in Cristin

  • Rowe, Melissah; Veerus, Liisa; Trosvik, Pål; Buckling, Angus & Pizzari, Tommaso (2020). Reproductive Microbiomes and the Sexual Transmission of Beneficial Microbes: Reply to Lombardo et al. Trends in Ecology & Evolution. ISSN 0169-5347. 35(11), p. 964–965. doi: 10.1016/j.tree.2020.08.017.
  • Rowe, Melissah (2019). Molecular diversification of the seminal fluid proteome in Passer sparrows.
  • Rowe, Melissah (2019). Molecular diversification of the seminal fluid proteome in a recently diverged passerine species pair.
  • Rowe, Melissah (2019). The evolutionary ecology of avian ejauclates.
  • Rowe, Melissah (2019). Bacteria and the evolution of passerine seminal fluid.
  • Rowe, Melissah; de Muinck, Erik; Fredriksen, Simen; Carneiro, Diana; Star, Bastiaan & Trosvik, Pål (2018). Ejaculate microbiota of birds: inter-specific variation and disease transmission.
  • Rowe, Melissah (2018). Sex, sperm, and microbes: the evolutionary ecology of ejaculates.
  • Rowe, Melissah (2017). A Sperm's Tale.
  • Hurley, Laura L.; McDiarmid, Callum S; Rowe, Melissah & Griffith, Simon C. (2017). The Heat is on: Decrease in avian sperm functionality at high ambient temperatures.
  • Rowe, Melissah; Hurley, Laura L & Griffith, Simon C. (2017). Sperm and sperm-egg interactions in a hybridizing finch species.
  • Rowe, Melissah; K, Supriya & Price, Trevor (2017). Trade-offs between pre-copulatory and post-copulatory investment generate positive correlations across species.
  • Rowe, Melissah & Karr, Timothy L (2016). Characterisation of the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) sperm proteome.
  • Rowe, Melissah & Karr, Timothy L (2016). Identification and characterisation of the Taeniopygia guttata (zebra finch) sperm proteome.
  • Fredriksen, Simen & Rowe, Melissah (2015). The ejaculate microbiome of birds.
  • Rowe, Melissah (2015). Sperm wars: the role of bacteria in the evolution of avian ejaculates.
  • Hurley, Laura L; Crino, O; Buchanan, Kate L; Rowe, Melissah & Griffith, Simon C. (2015). Post-copulatory constraints to hybridization across subspecies of long-tailed finch.
  • Griffith, Simon C.; Hurley, Laura L; Fanson, K V & Rowe, Melissah (2015). Extra-pair paternity in birds: selection on genetic compatibility in a global context.
  • K., Supriya; Rowe, Melissah; Laskemoen, Terje; Mohan, D; Price, Trevor & Lifjeld, Jan Terje (2014). Correlated evolution of sperm and song in the Old World warblers.
  • Dale, Svein; Rowe, Melissah & Lifjeld, Jan Terje (2014). What makes an urban bird? Bird species in the city are not big-brained but simply more common in the surroundings.
  • Rowe, Melissah; Albrecht, Tomas; Cramer, Emily Rebecca A; Johnsen, Arild; Laskemoen, Terje & Weir, Jason T [Show all 7 contributors for this article] (2014). Postcopulatory sexual selection accelerates rates of evolutionary divergence in sperm morphology.
  • Cramer, Emily Rebecca A; Ålund, Murielle; Laskemoen, Terje; Eroukhmanoff, Fabrice; Eybert, Marie-Christine & Haas, Fredrik [Show all 12 contributors for this article] (2014). Post-copulatory, pre-zygotic isolating barriers in passerine birds?
  • Cramer, Emily Rebecca A; Laskemoen, Terje; Eroukhmanoff, Fabrice; Haas, Fredrik; Hermansen, Jo Skeie & Lifjeld, Jan Terje [Show all 9 contributors for this article] (2013). Testing a post-copulatory pre-zygotic reproductive barrier in a passerine species pair.
  • Cramer, Emily Rebecca A; Laskemoen, Terje; Eroukhmanoff, Fabrice; Haas, Fredrik; Hermansen, Jo Skeie & Lifjeld, Jan Terje [Show all 9 contributors for this article] (2013). An experimental test of a potential post-copulatory pre-zygotic reproductive barrier in a passerine species pair.

View all works in Cristin

Published Jan. 9, 2015 1:00 PM - Last modified Oct. 25, 2021 1:12 PM

Projects

No ongoing projects

Research groups