Eli M Swanson

Eli M Swanson
University of Minnesota Twin Cities | UMN · Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behaviour

PhD

About

26
Publications
3,905
Reads
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957
Citations
Introduction
Additional affiliations
January 2013 - present
University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Position
  • PostDoc Position
September 2007 - May 2013
Michigan State University
Position
  • PhD Student
Education
September 2007 - May 2013
Michigan State University
Field of study
  • Zoology and Ecology, Evolution and Behavior

Publications

Publications (26)
Article
Nutrition has been hypothesized as an important constraint on brain evolution. However, it is unclear whether the availability of specific nutrients or the difficulty of locating high quality diets limits brain evolution, especially over long periods of time. We show that dietary nutrient content predicted brain size across 42 species of butterflie...
Article
Full-text available
Synopsis Hormonal pleiotropy occurs when a part of the endocrine system (e.g., hormone concentrations) influences the expression of two or more phenotypes. Although hormonal pleiotropy may have similar evolutionary consequences as genetic pleiotropy, most conceptual and empirical work on its putative evolutionary consequences to date has focused on...
Article
Early postnatal development can have profound effects on life-history traits later in life. One mechanism hypothesized to mediate this relationship is the anabolic hormone, insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1). IGF-1 contributes importantly to postnatal growth, and thus offers a means by which environmental and genetic variation might direct organi...
Article
Full-text available
Nutrition is a key component of life-history theory, yet we know little about how diet quality shapes life-history evolution across species. Here, we test whether quantitative measures of nutrition are linked to life-history evolution across 96 species of butterflies representing over 50 independent diet shifts. We find that butterflies feeding on...
Article
Full-text available
Morphological scaling relationships between organ and body size - also known as allometries - describe the shape of a species, and the evolution of such scaling relationships is central to the generation of morphological diversity. Despite extensive modeling and empirical tests, however, the modes of selection that generate changes in scaling remai...
Article
Full-text available
Despite considerable interest in the forces shaping the relationship between brain size and cognitive abilities, it remains controversial whether larger-brained animals are, indeed, better problem-solvers. Recently, several comparative studies have revealed correlations between brain size and traits thought to require advanced cognitive abilities,...
Chapter
We apply concepts from the innovation literature to observations of insect resource use and diversification. In doing so, we argue that the process that leads to innovation is key to understanding the evolutionary consequences of innovation. We review examples from insect learning, resource search, and phylogenetic patterns of host use to formulate...
Article
Understanding why organisms vary in developmental plasticity has implications for predicting population responses to changing environments and the maintenance of intraspecific variation. The epiphenotype hypothesis posits that the timing of development can constrain plasticity-the earlier alternate phenotypes begin to develop, the greater the diffe...
Conference Paper
Many traits vary with regard to sex as well as nutrition. Yet, the mechanisms regulating this plasticity over development are not well understood. In insects, two different pathways are involved in how morphological development responds to nutrition and sex. The insulin signaling pathway informs an organism of its nutrient conditions while doublese...
Article
Macro-evolutionary comparisons are a valued tool in evolutionary biology. Nevertheless, our understanding of how systems involved in molecular signaling change in concert with phenotypic diversification has lagged. We argue that integrating our understanding of the evolution of molecular signaling systems with phylogenetic comparative methods is an...
Article
Full-text available
Despite the diversity of mammalian life histories, persistent patterns of covariation have been identified, such as the 'fast-slow' axis of life-history covariation. Smaller species generally exhibit 'faster' life histories, developing and reproducing rapidly, but dying young. Hormonal mechanisms with pleiotropic effects may mediate such broad patt...
Article
Full-text available
Body size and growth rate are among the most important traits characterizing an organism, influencing niche occupancy, life-history patterns, mortality rates, and many other fitness components. Sexual size dimorphism is common among animals; in most species females are on average larger than males. In contrast, male mammals are usually larger on av...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Resource availability is known to impact organismal development and thus community dynamics. However what is less clear, is how resources impact trait evolution. Ideas from both life history theory and anthropology suggest that nutrient availability may constrain the evolution of traits requiring those nutrients. At th...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Morphological growth rates are critical life history traits in their own right, reflecting multivariate life history patterns interspecifically, and both genetic and environmental variation intraspecifically. Growth rates also commonly have important consequences for the timing of life history events, and future fitnes...
Article
Full-text available
We suggest that variation in mammalian behavioural flexibility not accounted for by current socioecological models may be explained in part by developmental constraints. From our own work, we provide examples of constraints affecting variation in behavioural flexibility, not only among individuals, but also among species and higher taxonomic units....
Article
Full-text available
Anthropological theory suggests direct links between the origins of cooperation in hominins and a shift toward an energy-rich diet. Although the degree to which early hominins ate meat remains controversial, here we reevaluate the notion, originally suggested by Schaller and Lowther in 1969, that mammalian carnivores can shed light on human origins...
Article
Full-text available
Mammalian brain volumes vary considerably, even after controlling for body size. Although several hypotheses have been proposed to explain this variation, most research in mammals on the evolution of encephalization has focused on primates, leaving the generality of these explanations uncertain. Furthermore, much research still addresses only one h...
Data
Full-text available
Cranial and endocranial measures used in analysis including: endocranial volume in mm3 (brain volume), combined cerebellum and brainstem volume in mm3 (Cb + Bs), cerebrum anterior to the cruciate sulcus in mm3 (Ac), cerebrum posterior to the cruciate sulcus in mm3 (Pc), skull basal length in mm (BL), zygomatic arch breadth in mm (ZB), skull height...
Data
Full-text available
Model selection for best PGLS models, comparing models fitting a fixed brownian motion model (equivalent to using independent contrasts), a fixed ‘no effect of phylogeny’ model, and a model allowing lambda to take its MLE. (PDF)
Data
Details for specimens used in analysis. Field Museum (FMNH); Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History (LACM); Michigan State University Museum (MSUM); University of Michigan Museum of Zoology (UMMZ). All skulls were scanned using a General Electric Lightspeed 4 slice CT or General Electric Discovery ST 16 slice scanner in the Department of Radi...
Data
Data used in analysis including: group size (GS), social cohesion (Cohesion), FGS (Feeding group size), mass (in kg), gestation length (Gest. Len.; in days), weaning age (WA; in months), maximum recorded longevity (Longevity; in years), home range (in sq. km), diet, and degree of forelimb processing of food (Forelimb). Group size and home range siz...
Article
Full-text available
Life-history traits describe parameters associated with growth, size, survival, and reproduction. Life-history variation is a hallmark of biological diversity, yet researchers commonly observe that one of the major axes of life-history variation after controlling for body size involves trade-offs among growth, reproduction, and longevity. This pers...
Article
Full-text available
Size-related traits are common targets of natural selection, yet there is a relative paucity of data on selection among mammals, particularly from studies measuring lifetime reproductive success (LRS). We present the first phenotypic selection analysis using LRS on size-related traits in a large terrestrial carnivore, the spotted hyena, which displ...
Article
There is growing concern that anthropogenic noise could interfere with animal behaviours by masking the perception of acoustic communication signals. To date, however, few experimental studies have tested this general hypothesis. One common source of anthropogenic noise is the sound of roadway traffic. We tested the hypothesis that road traffic noi...
Article
Full-text available
The advertisement calls of male anurans (frogs and toads) are loud and conspicuous signals, and the sound generated by breeding aggregations of males propagates over long distances. As a by-product of communication within an aggregation, the sounds of a frog chorus constitute a form of inadvertent social information that provides potential long-dis...

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