Sperm wars and the evolution of avian ejaculates
CEES Extra seminar by Melissah Rowe from NHM
Spermatozoa are the most diverse cell type known, exhibiting remarkable levels of morphological diversity across all levels of organisation. Yet, despite decades of research, the evolutionary causes and consequences of this diversity remain poorly understood. Moreover, to gain a comprehensive understanding of male fertility it is necessary to consider both sperm and non-sperm components of the ejaculate. I will present a summary of my ongoing research on sperm evolution, with a focus on sperm structure and function. Additionally, I will present an outline of the work that I will undertake over the next 3-4 years whilst based at CEES and NHM (UiO). This work will integrate 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.