Peter Moran

Peter Moran, post doc

The incredible wealth of animal diversity is reflected in the spectacular range of signals animals use to communicate with one another: visual, aural and olfactory. This is particularly evident in mate-attraction signals. Growing evidence suggests that sexual signals and mate choice can evolve rapidly in response to changes in the environment. However, the relative roles of plasticity versus genetic changes remains to be determined. Urban areas provide an important natural laboratory for understanding how sexual communication systems evolve in response to rapid environmental change as urbanization drastically alters ecosystems leading to intense novel selective pressures.

I have a long-standing passion in understanding how diversity in sexual signals and mate preferences arises and contributes to reproductive isolation and speciation. As part of the CITISENSE project I am investigating the genomic basis of urban adaptation in túngara frogs. These are a classic study system for sexual selection and urbanization appears to have driven adaptive changes in sexual signalling behaviour. However, the molecular underpinnings remain unknown. I am particularly interested in combining behavioural and genomic approaches to determine the causes and consequences for divergence in acoustic signals and to identify adaptive loci.

Selected Publications

Moran, P. A., Hunt, J., Mitchell, C., Ritchie, M. G., & Bailey, N. W. (2020). Sexual selection and population divergence III: Interspecific and intraspecific variation in mating signals. Journal of evolutionary biology, 33.7: 990-1005.

Moran, P. A., Hunt, J., Mitchell, C., Ritchie, M. G., & Bailey, N. W. (2019). Behavioural mechanisms of sexual isolation involving multiple modalities and their inheritance. Journal of evolutionary biology, 32(3), 243-258.

Moran, P. A., Pascoal, S., Cezard, T., Risse, J. E., Ritchie, M. G., & Bailey, N. W. (2018). Opposing patterns of intraspecific and interspecific differentiation in sex chromosomes and autosomes. Molecular ecology, 27(19), 3905-3924.

Bailey, N. W., Moran, P. A., & Hennig, R. M. (2017). Divergent mechanisms of acoustic mate recognition between closely related field cricket species (Teleogryllus spp.). Animal Behaviour, 130, 17-25.

Moran, P. A., Ritchie, M. G., & Bailey, N. W. (2017). A rare exception to Haldane’s rule: Are X chromosomes key to hybrid incompatibilities? Heredity, 118(6), 554.

Link to full publication list in PURE

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