Marie-Claire Chelini, Ph.D., University of California, Merced
Sexual size dimorphism is one of the most ubiquitous forms of intraspecific variation found in nature. Size differences between females and males are often extreme to the point of having profound implications for the ecology of these species. Using an integrative approach that combines behavioral ecology, physiology, and evolutionary biology, my research focuses on understanding how and why do extreme phenotypic differences evolve between females and males and what is the role played by environmental factors on the expression of such dimorphism. I will discuss how to disentangle proximate and evolutionary drivers of sexual dimorphism, presenting results from my research on crab spiders (Thomisidae) and lizards (Phrynosomatinae).