Emilie Snell-Rood

Emilie Snell-Rood
University of Minnesota Twin Cities | UMN · Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behaviour

Doctor of Philosophy

About

124
Publications
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Introduction

Publications

Publications (124)
Article
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Nearly 90% of flowering plants depend on animals for reproduction. One of the main rewards plants offer to pollinators for visitation is nectar. Nesocodon mauritianus (Campanulaceae) produces a blood-red nectar that has been proposed to serve as a visual attractant for pollinator visitation. Here, we show that the nectar’s red color is derived from...
Article
Full-text available
Biologists seek to understand why organisms vary in their abilities to tolerate anthropogenic contaminants, such as heavy metals. Yet, few studies have considered how tolerance may be affected by condition moderating factors such as dietary resource availability. For instance, the availability of crucial limiting macronutrients, such as nitrogen an...
Article
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Individuals in a population often use unique subsets of locally available resources, but we do not entirely understand how environmental context shapes the development of these specializations. In this study, we used ovipositing cabbage white butterflies (Pieris rapae) searching for host plants to test the hypothesis that early experience with an a...
Article
The origin of novel communication systems has long been an evolutionary puzzle because communication requires interdependent signals and responses. Either component is not useful in isolation. Previous work has shown that novel communication systems may arise when pre-existing traits are co-opted for a novel function. However, research on developme...
Article
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Human activities are increasing the environmental availability of micronutrients, including sodium and some essential metals. Micronutrients are often limiting in animal diets but may have negative effects when consumed in excess. Though prior research has documented how elevated exposure to individual micronutrients can impact organismal developme...
Article
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Bioinspiration is a promising lens for biology instruction as it allows the instructor to focus on current issues, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. From social distancing to oxygen stress, organisms have been tackling pandemic-related problems for millions of years. What can we learn from such diverse adaptations in our own applications? This review...
Article
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Organismal tolerance to environmental pollution is thought to be constrained by fitness costs, where variants with higher survival in polluted environments have lower performance in non‐polluted environments. Yet, costs are not always detected in empirical studies. One hypothesis suggests that whether tolerance costs emerge depends on the degree of...
Article
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Human behavior (movement, social contacts) plays a central role in the spread of pathogens like SARS-CoV-2. The rapid spread of SARS-CoV-2 was driven by global human movement, and initial lockdown measures aimed to localize movement and contact in order to slow spread. Thus, movement and contact patterns need to be explicitly considered when making...
Article
Interspecific competition can occur when species are unable to distinguish between conspecific and heterospecific mates or competitors when they occur in sympatry. Selection in response to interspecific competition can lead to shifts in signalling traits-a process called agonistic character displacement. In two fan-throated lizard species-Sitana la...
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
Neonicotinoid pesticides harm non‐target insects; however, their sublethal effects on butterflies are understudied. We exposed larvae of three butterfly species (Pieris rapae, Colias philodice, Danaus plexippus) to low levels of the neonicotinoid imidacloprid in their host plants and followed individuals to adulthood. Imidacloprid altered adult bod...
Article
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Across mammals, cues of developmental support, such as touching, licking or attentiveness, stimulate neural development, behavioural exploration and even overall body growth. Why should such fitness-related traits be so sensitive to developmental conditions? Here, we review what we term the ‘developmental support hypothesis’, a potential adaptive e...
Preprint
Full-text available
Human behavior (movement, social contacts) plays a central role in the spread of pathogens like SARS-CoV-2. The rapid spread of SARS-CoV-2 was driven by global human movement, and recent lockdown measures aim to localize movement and contact in order to slow spread. Thus, movement and contact patterns need to be explicitly considered when making re...
Article
Full-text available
• Zinc is a widespread pollutant released from industrial combustion, automobile residue, and mining. Zinc accumulates in soils and mobilises into plant tissue where it may be consumed to potentially toxic levels by leaf feeding insects, including developing pollinators. • While zinc tolerance thresholds have been previously assessed in insect poll...
Article
Roadside habitats are increasingly being targeted for restoration and conservation. Roadside habitats often exhibit altered soil and plant chemistry due to pollution from maintenance (e.g. de-icing salt), car deterioration, and exhaust. Roadside plants may attract animals due to elevated levels of sodium or nitrogen, but high concentrations of heav...
Article
Organisms encounter a wide range of toxic compounds in their environments, from chemicals that serve anticonsumption or anticompetition functions to pollutants and pesticides. Although we understand many detoxification mechanisms that allow organisms to consume toxins typical of their diet, we know little about why organisms vary in their ability t...
Article
Full-text available
Sustaining native pollinator populations and reversing declines in species such as the monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) will require enhancing and maintaining habitats across many regions and land use sectors. Rights-of-way, such as the areas surrounding roads, have long been regarded as important habitat for pollinators due to their ubiquitous...
Article
Humans have drastically increased the availability of many once-limited nutrients, resulting in potential attraction of animals to now toxic, novel nutritional conditions. For instance, herbivores are attracted to sodium in many terrestrial ecosystems because sodium occurs in much lower concentrations in plants than in animals. However, sodium avai...
Article
Anthropogenic increases in nutrient availability offer opportunities to study evolutionary shifts in sexual selection dynamics in real time. A rapid increase in nutrient availability may reduce the utility of condition-dependent ornaments as signals of quality and lessen any nutritional benefits to females from re-mating. We explored these ideas us...
Article
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Despite the benefits of careful decision-making, not all animals are choosy. One explanation is that choosiness can cost time and energy and thus depend on nutrition. However, it is not clear how allocation to choosiness versus other components of life-history shifts in the face of nutritional stress. We tested 2 hypotheses about the effects of nut...
Article
Adaptive phenotypic plasticity provides a mechanism of developmental rescue in novel and rapidly changing environments. Understanding the underlying mechanism of plasticity is important for predicting both the likelihood that a developmental response is adaptive and associated life-history trade-offs that could influence patterns of subsequent evol...
Article
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Interactions between herbivorous insects and their host plants are a central component of terrestrial food webs and a critical topic in agriculture, where a substantial fraction of potential crop yield is lost annually to pests. Important insights into plant-insect interactions have come from research on specific plant defences and insect detoxific...
Article
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Biologists have long been interested in the factors that maintain variation in learning and plasticity within and between species, especially given the role of such flexibility in coping with novel and changing environments. A large body of theoretical and empirical work has established the role of environmental variation in selecting for learning...
Article
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Heavy metal pollution is a major problem in urban and industrial environments, and has a myriad of negative effects on animals. Quantifying the amount of population-level variation that exists for heavy metal tolerance and how plastic responses to heavy metals play out across generations are essential for understanding how animals respond to pollut...
Article
A transgenerational study in sticklebacks suggests that when an individual is exposed to conflicting information about predation, either directly through personal experience or indirectly through parental exposure, the typical response is to assume a predator is present.
Article
Full-text available
Populations that have access to a variety of resources are often composed of individuals that specialize on different subsets of resources. Understanding the behavioral mechanisms that drive such individual specialization will help us predict the strength of this specialization across different environments. Here, we explore the idea that individua...
Preprint
Interactions between herbivorous insects and their host-plants are a central component of terrestrial food webs and a critical topic in agriculture, where a substantial fraction of potential crop yield is lost annually to pests. Important insights into plant-insect interactions have come from research on specific plant defenses and insect detoxific...
Article
Synopsis: High conspecific densities are associated with increased levels of intraspecific competition and a variety of negative effects on performance. However, changes in life history strategy could compensate for some of these effects. For instance, females in crowded conditions often have fewer total offspring, but they may invest more in each...
Article
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Background: Agricultural environments have long presented an opportunity to study evolution in action, and genomic approaches are opening doors for testing hypotheses about adaptation to crops, pesticides, and fertilizers. Here, we begin to develop the cabbage white butterfly (Pieris rapae) as a system to test questions about adaptation to novel, a...
Article
Being choosy can allow animals to find and identify the best resources or safest locations to rear offspring. Despite these benefits, individuals vary in the degree to which they are choosy. One explanation is that choosiness represents a costly form of offspring investment and is part of a suite of life history trade-offs. We examined trade-offs b...
Article
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While the effects of lead pollution have been well studied in vertebrates, it is unclear to what extent lead may negatively affect insect cognition. Lead pollution in soils can elevate lead in plant tissues, suggesting it could negatively affect neural development of insect herbivores. We used the cabbage white butterfly (Pieris rapae) as a model s...
Article
Phenotypic plasticity has been hypothesized to play a central role in the evolution of phenotypic diversity across species (West-Eberhard 2003). Through ‘genetic assimilation’, phenotypes that are initially environmentally induced within species become genetically fixed over evolutionary time. While genetic assimilation has been shown to occur in b...
Article
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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
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Cryptic genetic variation plays an important role in the emergence of disease and evolutionary responses to environmental change. Focusing on parental care behavior, we discuss three mechanisms by which behavior can affect the accumulation and release of cryptic genetic variation. We illustrate how these hypotheses might be tested with preliminary...
Article
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Engineers, chemists and others taking inspiration from biological systems for human applications must team up with biologists, writes Emilie Snell-Rood.
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
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An official journal of the Genetics Society, Heredity publishes high-quality articles describing original research and theoretical insights in all areas of genetics. Research papers are complimented by News & Commentary articles and reviews, keeping researchers and students abreast of hot topics in the field.
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...
Article
Full-text available
Variation in life history traits can have major impacts on the ecological and evolutionary responses of populations to environmental change. Life history variation often results from tradeoffs that arise because individuals have a limited pool of resources to allocate among traits. However, human activities are increasing the availability of many o...
Article
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Correlations between behavioral traits are widespread, but the developmental genetic architecture of such correlations is poorly characterized. Understanding the developmental mechanisms that lead to correlations between behaviors has implications for predicting how changing environments might alter the strength, direction and persistence of these...
Article
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Phenotypic plasticity is ubiquitous and generally regarded as a key mechanism for enabling organisms to survive in the face of environmental change. Because no organism is infinitely or ideally plastic, theory suggests that there must be limits (for example, the lack of ability to produce an optimal trait) to the evolution of phenotypic plasticity,...
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
Full-text available
Developmental responses to nutritional variation represent one of the ecologically most important classes of adaptive plasticity. However, knowledge of genome-wide patterns of nutrition-responsive gene expression is limited. Here, we studied genome-wide transcriptional responses to nutritional variation and their dependency on trait and sex in the...
Article
Evolutionary and ecosystem processes have long been treated as distinct. The finding that interactions among plant species cause rapid evolutionary changes that affect ecosystem function suggests that it is time for unification. SEE LETTER P.108
Article
Full-text available
The development of organisms is changing drastically because of anthropogenic changes in once-limited nutrients. Although the importance of changing macronutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus, is well-established, it is less clear how anthropogenic changes in micronutrients will affect organismal development, potentially changing dynamics of s...
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
Phenotypic plasticity pervades organismal development and physiology where it facilitates an enormous range of adaptive responses to novel or stressful environments. Plasticity also impacts evolutionary processes, reducing the probability of population extinction in the face of environmental changes and sometimes increasing speciation rates in deve...
Article
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Insects feeding on plant sap, blood, and other nutritionally incomplete diets are typically associated with mutualistic bacteria that supplement missing nutrients. Herbivorous mammal dung contains more than 86% cellulose and lacks amino acids essential for insect development and reproduction. Yet one of the most ecologically necessary and evolution...
Article
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It is thought that behaviourally flexible species will be able to cope with novel and rapidly changing environments associated with human activity. However, it is unclear whether such environments are selecting for increases in behavioural plasticity, and whether some species show more pronounced evolutionary changes in plasticity. To test whether...
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 The honesty of traits important in female choice or male-male competition is often enforced by costs or physical constraints during development. Nutrient availability is commonly a limiting factor for such sexually selected traits. While scientists have long appreciated the link between nutritional ecology and sexual s...
Article
Full-text available
I outline how understanding the mechanism of behavioural plasticity is important for predicting how organisms will respond to rapidly changing and novel environments. I define two major forms of behavioural plasticity: developmental and activational. Developmental plasticity refers to the capacity of a genotype to adopt different developmental traj...