Ram

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Current Research

I am interested in understanding the causes of variation in reproductive trait form and the consequences of that variation on trait function using insect models. I joined UEA in August 2014 on a three-year research project to investigate the causes and consequences of male-specific infertility in the red flour beetle (Tribolium castaneum). Here, we use experimentally evolved lines of T. castaneum to investigate both short-term and long-term consequences to different thermal environments. For my doctoral research, I studied how the development environment affected (e.g. rearing temperature) the expression of ejaculatory traits using the bean weevil, Callosobruchus maculatus.

sperm length and temperature

Fig. 1 Sperm length variation at different rearing temperatures

spermathecae-2b_gfp

Fig. 2 Spermatheca of Tribolium castaneum with fluorescing Sperm

Tribolium castaneum are easy to rear for experimental evolution studies

https://youtu.be/4OHvcOva6d8

(Sexual Selection is a driver of exaggerated traits. Is male vigorous male body shaking behaviour during copulation influenced by sexual selection? check the link above)

Career

  • Senior Research Associate, UEA (2014–current)
  • Senior publications writer (2013–2014)
  • PhD: Biological Sciences, University of Lincoln (2010–2014)
  • Research Assistant/Technician, University of Lincoln (2006–2010)
  • MSc Pharmacology and Biotechnology, Sheffield Hallam University (2004)
  • BSc Biotechnology (2001)

Research Talks & Poster

  • CEEC Rebellion, UEA- 2017 (internal) “Thermal impacts on sperm and egg form and function” (talk)
  • National Centre for Biological Sciences, India- 2016 (external) “Thermal regimes, Heat waves and Adaptation” (talk)
  • Imperial College London – 2016 (external) “War and Peace: the dynamics of evolutionary conflict” (poster)

Publications

  • Godwin, J.L., Vasudeva, R., Michalczyk, Ł., Martin, O.Y., Lumley, A.J., Chapman, T., Gage, M.J.G. (2017). Experimental evolution reveals that sperm competition intensity selects for longer, more costly sperm. Evolution Letters. 1, 102–113.
  • Vasudeva, R., Deeming, D.C., Eady, P.E. (2014). Developmental temperature affects the expression of ejaculatory traits and the outcome of sperm competition in Callosobruchus maculatus. J. Evol. Biol. 27, 1811–1818.
  • Gay, L., Brown, E., Tregenza, T., Pincheira–Donoso, D., Eady, P. E., Vasudev, R. et al. (2011). The genetic architecture of sexual conflict: male harm and female resistance in Callosobruchus maculatus. Evol. Biol. 24, 449–456.
  • Gay, L., Hosken, D. J., Eady, P., Vasudev, R. et al. (2011). The evolution of harm: effect of sexual conflicts and population size. 65, 725–737.
  • Brown, E.A., Gay, L., Vasudev, R. et al. (2009). Negative phenotypic and genetic associations between copulation duration and longevity in male seed beetles. 103, 1–6.
  • Gay, L., Eady, P. E., Vasudev, R. et al. (2009). Costly sexual harassment in a beetle. Entomol. 34, 86–92.
  • Gay, L., Eady, P. E., Vasudev, R. et al. (2009). Does reproductive isolation evolve faster in larger populations via sexually antagonistic coevolution? Lett. 5, 693–696.
  • Gay, L., Hosken, D. J., Vasudev, R.et al. (2009). Sperm competition and maternal effects differentially influence testis and sperm size in Callosobruchus maculatus. Evol. Biol. 22, 1143–1150.

Memberships

  • European Society for the study of Evolution (2017)
  • Association for the study of Animal Behaviour (2017)