C. Ruth Archer

C. Ruth Archer
Ulm University | UULM · Institute of Evolutionary Ecology and Conservation Genomics

PhD

About

69
Publications
9,650
Reads
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1,027
Citations
Additional affiliations
March 2014 - August 2015
Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
Position
  • PostDoc Position
July 2012 - February 2014
University of Pretoria
Position
  • PostDoc Position
October 2008 - June 2012
University of Exeter
Position
  • PhD Student

Publications

Publications (69)
Article
Life-history strategies are diverse. While understanding this diversity is a fundamental aim of evolutionary biology and biodemography, life-history data for some traits-in particular, age-dependent reproductive investment-are biased towards females. While other authors have highlighted this sex skew, the general scale of this bias has not been qua...
Article
Full-text available
The expression of life-history traits, such as lifespan or reproductive effort, is tightly correlated with the amount and blend of macronutrients that individuals consume. In a range of herbivorous insects, consuming high protein to carbohydrate ratios (P:C) decreases lifespan but increases female fecundity. In other words, females face a resource-...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding how diet affects reproduction and survival is a central aim in evolutionary biology. Although this relationship is likely to differ between the sexes, we lack data relating diet to male reproductive traits. One exception to this general pattern is Drosophila melanogaster, where male dietary intake was quantified using the CA pillary F...
Article
Full-text available
The ratio of amino acids to carbohydrates (AA:C) that bumble bees consume has been reported to affect their survival. However, it is unknown how dietary AA:C ratio affects other bumble bee fitness traits (e.g., fecundity, condition) and possible trade-offs between them. Moreover, while individual AAs affect phenotype in many species, the effects of...
Article
Full-text available
The trade-off between lifespan and reproduction is central to our understanding of life-history evolution. Laboratory selection experiments have been a powerful tool for quantifying this trade-off, but these tend to be restricted in taxonomic scope, which may limit our understanding. In addition, research often focuses on the trade-off between life...
Article
Approximately 25% of mammals are currently threatened with extinction, a risk that is amplified under climate change. Species persistence under climate change is determined by the combined effects of climatic factors on multiple demographic rates (survival, development and reproduction), and hence, population dynamics. Thus, to quantify which speci...
Article
Full-text available
There is an urgent need to synthesize the state of our knowledge on plant responses to climate. The availability of open-access data provide opportunities to examine quantitative generalizations regarding which biomes and species are most responsive to climate drivers. Here, we synthesize time series of structured population models from 162 populat...
Article
Diseases may contribute to the widespread declines seen in many bee species. The gut bacteria of bees may serve as one defence against disease, by preventing pathogen colonisation. However, exposure to antibiotics on forage or in the hive may disrupt bee gut bacteria and remove this protective effect. A number of studies show that high antibiotic d...
Article
Within populations, adult sex ratios influence population growth and extinction risk, mating behaviors and parental care. Additionally, sex ratio adjustment can have pronounced effects on individual fitness. Accordingly, it is important that we understand how often, and why, offspring sex ratios deviate from parity. In Drosophila melanogaster, fema...
Article
The oxidative damage caused to cells by reactive oxygen species (ROS) is one of several factors implicated in causing ageing. Oxidative damage may also be a proximate cost of reproductive effort that mediates the trade-off often observed between reproduction and survival. However, how the balance between oxidative damage and antioxidant protection...
Preprint
Full-text available
To mitigate and adapt to climate change, there is an urgent need to synthesize the state of our knowledge on plant responses to climate. The availability of open-access data, combined with our understanding of plant physiology and life history theory provide opportunities to examine quantitative generalizations regarding which biomes and species ar...
Article
Full-text available
In herbivorous insects, the degree of host specialisation may be one ecological factor that shapes lifespan. Because host specialists can only exploit a limited number of plants, their lifecycle should be synchronised with host phenology to allow reproduction when suitable hosts are available. For species not undergoing diapause or dormancy, one st...
Preprint
Full-text available
Approximately 25 % of mammals are threatened globally with extinction, a risk that is amplified under climate change. Persistence under climate change is determined by the combined effects of climatic factors on multiple demographic rates (survival, development, reproduction), and hence, on population dynamics. Thus, to quantify which species and p...
Article
Approximately 25 % of mammals are threatened globally with extinction, a risk that is amplified under climate change1. Persistence under climate change is determined by the combined effects of climatic factors on multiple demographic rates (survival, development, reproduction), and hence, on population dynamics2. Thus, to quantify which species and...
Article
Full-text available
Sperm viability is a major male fitness component, with higher sperm viability associated with enhanced sperm competitiveness. While many studies have focussed on sperm viability from the male fitness standpoint, its impact on female fitness is less clear. Here we used a panel of 32 isogenic Drosophila simulans lines to test for genetic variation i...
Article
Full-text available
Securing matings is a key determinant of fitness, and in many species, males are the sex that engages in mate searching. Searching for mates is often associated with increased mobility. This elevated investment in movement is predicted to trade-off with sperm competitiveness, but few studies have directly tested whether this trade-off occurs. Here,...
Article
Evolutionary conflict arises from differences in the fitness interests of replicating entities and has its roots in relatedness asymmetries. Every replicator is related to itself by 100%, but in most cases is less related to other replicators, which generates selfishness and conflicts of interest. Since this basic condition is the norm at many leve...
Chapter
Researchers of Drosophila have investigated a broad range of behaviours from aggression to alcohol preference, territoriality. and foraging. This chapter focuses on a small subset of this huge body of work and primarily discusses genetic and environmental influences on Drosophila sexual behaviours, with more focus on social environmental effects an...
Article
Full-text available
Males and females share most of their genome and develop many of the same traits. However, each sex frequently has different optimal values for these shared traits, creating intralocus sexual conflict. This conflict has been observed in wild and laboratory populations of insects and affects important evolutionary processes such as sexual selection,...
Article
Full-text available
At any given age, men are more likely to die than women, but women have poorer health at older ages. This is referred to as the “male-female, health-survival paradox”, which is not fully understood. Here, we provide a general solution to the paradox that relies on intralocus sexual conflict, where alleles segregating in the population have late-act...
Article
The penis is an incredibly diverse and rapidly evolving structure, such that even in closely related species that otherwise differ very little in their morphology, penis form can be highly differentiated. Penises are also much more complex than their fundamental function — sperm transfer — would seem to require. The rapid divergent evolution of mal...
Article
Laboratory experiments are vital to exploring the causes of pollinator loss, but for these experiments to be informative, they should attempt to replicate the hive environment and conserve social interactions. It is unclear how honeybee density and group size affect survival and behaviour in the laboratory. We manipulated cage volume (125–1312 ml)...
Article
Full-text available
Aging is characterized by rising mortality, declining fertility and declines in physiological function with age (functional senescence). Sex differences in the tempo and severity of survival and fertility declines are widespread, but it is less clear how often and how much trajectories of functional senescence diverge between the sexes. We tested h...
Article
Life-history strategies are diverse both across and within species, although the factors shaping this diversity are not fully understood. In the present study, we investigate the life-history strategies of the marula fruit fly Ceratitis cosyra (Walker) (Diptera: Tephritidae) and how they differ between the sexes. We measure lifespan and age-depende...
Article
Full-text available
Studies examining how diet affects mortality risk over age typically characterise mortality using parameters such as aging rates, which condense how much and how quickly the risk of dying changes over time into a single measure. Demographers have suggested that decoupling the tempo and the magnitude of changing mortality risk may facilitate compara...
Article
Full-text available
Life-history theory assumes that traits compete for limited resources, resulting in trade-offs. The most commonly manipulated resource in empirical studies is the quantity or quality of diet. Recent studies using the geometric framework for nutrition, however, suggest that trade-offs are often regulated by the intake of specific nutrients, but a fo...
Article
Full-text available
In insects, lifespan and reproduction are strongly associated with nutrition. The ratio and amount of nutrients individuals consume affect their life expectancy and reproductive investment. The geometric framework (GF) enables us to explore how animals regulate their intake of multiple nutrients simultaneously and determine how these nutrients inte...
Data
Appendix S1. Composition of Artificial Diets. Appendix S2. Multivariate Response Surface Approach Used to Characterize the Nutritional Landscapes for Life Span and Reproductive Effort. Appendix S3. Sequential Model‐Building Approach to Compare the Nutritional Landscapes for Life Span, Daily Reproductive Effort, and Lifetime Reproductive Effort....
Article
The Y chromosome should degenerate because it cannot recombine. However, male limited transmission increases selection efficiency for male benefit alleles on the Y, and therefore Y-chromosomes should contribute significantly to variation in male-fitness. This means that although the Drosophila Y chromosome is small and gene-poor, Y-linked genes are...
Article
Full-text available
There is often large divergence in the effects of key nutrients on lifespan and reproduction in the sexes, yet nutrient intake is regulated in the same way in males and females given dietary choice. This suggests that the sexes are constrained from feeding to their sex-specific nutritional optima for these traits. Here we examine the potential for...
Article
A quick guide on peacock flies, a species of insect where, unusually, both males and females perform dances apparently to attract mates.
Data
Table S1. Protein and carbohydrate composition of the 24 artificial diets used in our “no‐choice” feeding experiments. Figure S1. The location of the 24 artificial diets used in our feeding experiments in nutritional space. Text S1. Multivariate response surface approach used to characterize the nutritional landscapes for our three response varia...
Article
Full-text available
Sexual selection may cause dietary requirements for reproduction to diverge across the sexes and promote the evolution of different foraging strategies in males and females. However, our understanding of how the sexes regulate their nutrition and the effects that this has on sex-specific fitness is limited. We quantified how protein (P) and carbohy...
Article
William Hamilton argued that even species inhabiting the farthest flung corners of the universe should age. However, a recent study shows that to find a species that escapes ageing, you only need to look as far as your local pond.
Data
Appendix S1. Supporting Online Figures. Appendix S2. Constituents of COMADRE. Appendix S3. COMADRE user's guide. Appendix S4. COMADRE R scripts. Appendix S5. Extended literature used in COMADRE 1.0.0. Appendix S6. Funding and extended acknowledgements. Appendix S7. Author contributions. Appendix S8. Supporting information references.
Article
Full-text available
Synthesis: We introduce the COMADRE Animal Matrix Database, a resource for animal demography. Its open-data nature, together with its ancillary information, will facilitate comparative analysis, as will the growing availability of databases focusing on other aspects of the rich animal diversity, and tools to query and combine them. Through future...
Article
Full-text available
The oxidative stress theory predicts that the accumulation of oxidative damage causes aging. More generally, oxidative damage could be a cost of reproduction that reduces survival. Both of these hypotheses have mixed empirical support. To better understand the life-history consequences of oxidative damage, we fed male and female Australian field cr...
Preprint
Full-text available
1. The open-access scientific philosophy has been widely adopted and proven to promote considerable progress in the fields of ecology and evolution. Open-access global databases now exist on animal migration, the distribution of species, and conservation status, to mention a few. However, a gap exists for databases on population dynamics spanning t...
Article
Although polyandry is common, it is often unclear why females mate with multiple males, because although polyandry may provide females with direct or indirect fitness benefits, it can also be costly. Our understanding of polyandry is also restricted by the relative paucity of studies that disentangle the fitness effects of mating more than once wit...
Article
Aging evolved because the strength of natural selection declines over the lifetime of most organisms. Weak natural selection late in life allows the accumulation of deleterious mutations and may favor alleles that have positive effects on fitness early in life, but costly pleiotropic effects expressed later on. While this decline in natural selecti...
Article
Full-text available
It is commonly assumed that because males produce many, tiny sperm, they are cheap to produce. Recent work, however, suggests that sperm production is not cost-free. If sperm are costly to produce, sperm number and/or viability should be influenced by diet, and this has been documented in numerous species. Yet few studies have examined the exact nu...
Article
Full-text available
Summary Schedules of survival, growth and reproduction are key life-history traits. Data on how these traits vary among species and populations are fundamental to our understanding of the ecological conditions that have shaped plant evolution. Because these demographic schedules determine population growth or decline, such data help us understand h...
Article
Variation in the strength of age-dependent natural selection shapes differences in ageing rates across species and populations. Likewise, sexual selection can promote divergent patterns of senescence across the sexes. However, the effects of these processes on the evolution of ageing have largely been considered independently and interactions betwe...
Article
The effects of pesticides on honeybee larvae are less understood than for adult bees, even though larvae are chronically exposed to pesticide residues that accumulate in comb and food stores in the hive. We investigated how exposure to a plant alkaloid, nicotine, affects survival, growth and body composition of honeybee larvae. Larvae of Apis melli...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding the causes and consequences of pollinator declines is a priority in ecological research. However, across much of the globe we have a poor understanding of pollinator assemblages, population trends and the ecological and economic importance of particular pollinators, due to a marked geographic bias in research effort. Here, we show tha...
Article
Nutrition plays an important role in physiological stress resistance and by adjusting their intake of key nutrients, such as protein and carbohydrate, many animals can better resist stress. Poor nutrition may contribute to the widespread and on-going declines of honeybee populations by increasing their vulnerability to abiotic (e.g. pesticides) an...
Article
The Free Radical Theory of Ageing (FRTA) predicts that oxidative stress, induced when levels of reactive oxygen species exceed the capacity of antioxidant defenses, causes ageing. Recently, it has also been argued that oxidative damage may mediate important life-history trade-offs. Here, we use inbred lines of the decorated cricket, Gryllodes sigil...
Article
Full-text available
Recent work suggests that sexual selection can influence the evolution of ageing and lifespan by shaping the optimal timing and relative costliness of reproductive effort in the sexes. We used inbred lines of the decorated cricket, Gryllodes sigillatus, to estimate the genetic (co)variance between age-dependent reproductive effort, lifespan, and ag...
Article
Full-text available
Dietary Restriction extends lifespan in a diverse range of animals, but this often comes at a cost to reproduction. While a number of molecular pathways integral to these relationships have been characterised, we still do not fully understand whether restriction of specific nutrients or calories is responsible. Two recent studies on insects have of...

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