Gerald S Wilkinson

Gerald S Wilkinson
University of Maryland, College Park | UMD, UMCP, University of Maryland College Park · Department of Biology

PhD

About

196
Publications
51,732
Reads
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11,666
Citations
Additional affiliations
January 1987 - present
University of Maryland, College Park
Position
  • Professor
May 1985 - December 1986
University of Colorado at Boulder
Position
  • PostDoc Position
December 1984 - May 1985
The University of Edinburgh
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Description
  • Evolutionary biology

Publications

Publications (196)
Article
Full-text available
Sex differences in aging occur in many animal species, and they include sex differences in lifespan, in the onset and progression of age‐associated decline, and in physiological and molecular markers of aging. Sex differences in aging vary greatly across the animal kingdom. For example, there are species with longer‐lived females, species where mal...
Preprint
Full-text available
Maximum lifespan of a species is the oldest that individuals can survive, reflecting the genetic limit of longevity in an ideal environment. Here we report methylation-based models that accurately predict maximum lifespan (r=0.89), gestational time (r=0.96), and age at sexual maturity (r=0.87), using cytosine methylation patterns collected from ove...
Preprint
Full-text available
Epigenetics has hitherto been studied and understood largely at the level of individual organisms. Here, we report a multi-faceted investigation of DNA methylation across 11,117 samples from 176 different species. We performed an unbiased clustering of individual cytosines into 55 modules and identified 31 modules related to primary traits includin...
Article
Full-text available
Exceptionally long-lived species, including many bats, rarely show overt signs of aging, making it difficult to determine why species differ in lifespan. Here, we use DNA methylation (DNAm) profiles from 712 known-age bats, representing 26 species, to identify epigenetic changes associated with age and longevity. We demonstrate that DNAm accurately...
Preprint
Full-text available
ABSTRACT Aging is often perceived as a degenerative process caused by random accrual of cellular damage over time. In spite of this, age can be accurately estimated by epigenetic clocks based on DNA methylation profiles from almost any tissue of the body. Since such pan-tissue epigenetic clocks have been successfully developed for several different...
Article
Group-living animals can potentially enhance their foraging performance and efficiency by obtaining information from others. Using PIT-tag data to study foraging behaviour in individual bats, we tested short-tailed fruit bats, Carollia perspicillata (Linnaeus), for evidence of local enhancement or social facilitation. To discriminate between these...
Article
Full-text available
Extra-group paternity, in which offspring are sired by a male outside the breeding group, may alter the distribution of reproductive success in a population, thus affecting the opportunity for sexual selection. Both inter- and intraspecific studies have focused largely on mating systems in which females choose their social mates, and less is known...
Article
Chen and Pfennig (Reports, 20 March 2020, p. 1377) analyze the fitness consequences of hybridization in toads but do not account for differences in survival among progeny. Apparent fitness effects depend on families with anomalously low survival, yet survival is crucial to evolutionary fitness. This and other analytical shortcomings demonstrate tha...
Preprint
Full-text available
Some stalk-eyed flies in the genus Teleopsis carry selfish genetic elements that induce sex ratio (SR) meiotic drive and impact the fitness of male and female carriers. Here, we produce a chromosome-level genome assembly of the stalk-eyed fly, T. dalmanni , to elucidate the pattern of genomic divergence associated with the presence of drive element...
Preprint
Bats hold considerable potential for understanding exceptional longevity because some species can live eight times longer than other mammals of similar size [1]. Estimating their age or longevity is difficult because they show few signs of aging. DNA methylation (DNAm) provides a potential solution given its utility for estimating age [2-4] and lif...
Article
Language has been considered by many to be uniquely human. Numerous theories for how it evolved have been proposed but rarely tested. The articles in this theme issue consider the extent to which aspects of language, such as vocal learning, phonology, syntax, semantics, intentionality, cognition and neurobiological adaptations, are shared with othe...
Article
The comparative approach can provide insight into the evolution of human speech, language and social communication by studying relevant traits in animal systems. Bats are emerging as a model system with great potential to shed light on these processes given their learned vocalizations, close social interactions, and mammalian brains and physiology....
Article
Gerald Wilkinson introduces the blood-drinking vampire bats.
Article
Full-text available
Artificial selection offers a powerful tool for the exploration of how selection and development shape the evolution of morphological scaling relationships. An emerging approach models the expression and evolution of morphological scaling relationships as a function of variation among individuals in the developmental mechanisms that regulate trait...
Article
Full-text available
Background Multiple methods have been developed to infer behavioral states from animal movement data, but rarely has their accuracy been assessed from independent evidence, especially for location data sampled with high temporal resolution. Here we evaluate the performance of behavioral segmentation methods using acoustic recordings that monitor pr...
Preprint
The comparative approach can provide insight into the evolution of human speech, language, and social communication by studying relevant traits in animal systems. Bats are emerging as a model system with great potential to shed light on these processes given their learned vocalisations, close social interactions, and mammalian brains and physiology...
Article
Full-text available
Bats live longer than similar-sized mammals, but the number of lineages that have independently evolved extreme longevity has not previously been determined. Here we reconstruct the evolution of size-corrected longevity on a recent molecular phylogeny and find that at least four lineages of bats have lifespans more than fourfold those of similar-si...
Article
Full-text available
Among mammals, bats exhibit extreme variation in sociality, with some species living largely solitary lives while others form colonies of more than a million individuals. Some tropical species form groups during the day that persist throughout the year while many temperate species only gather into groups during hibernation or parturition. How group...
Article
Full-text available
Among mammals, bats exhibit extreme variation in sociality, with some species living largely solitary lives while others form colonies of more than a million individuals. Some tropical species form groups during the day that persist throughout the year while many temperate species only gather into groups during hibernation or parturition. How group...
Article
Full-text available
Chemical signals are ubiquitous, but often overlooked as potentially important for conveying information relevant for sexual selection. The male greater spear-nosed bat, Phyllostomus hastatus, possesses a sexually dimorphic gland on the chest that produces an odoriferous secretion. Here, we investigate the potential for this glandular secretion to...
Article
Observations of animals feeding in aggregations are often interpreted as events of social foraging, but it can be difficult to determine whether the animals arrived at the foraging sites after collective search [1–4] or whether they found the sites by following a leader [5, 6] or even independently, aggregating as an artifact of food availability [...
Article
Full-text available
Many bird species produce temporally coordinated duets and choruses, requiring the rapid integration of auditory perception and motor production. While males and females of some species are known to participate in these displays for sex-specific purposes, few studies have identified perceptual features that trigger sex-specific contributions of coo...
Data
Map of all playback sites on Barro Colorado Island, Panama. Labels denote the name of the trails. FC = Fairchild, F = Fausto, L = Lathrop, D = Donato, B = Barbour, W = Wheeler, SM = Snyder Molino. Coordinates for each playback site are available in S2 Table. (PDF)
Data
Example set up of six-microphone array for sound localization. (PDF)
Data
Coordinates for each playback site. (PDF)
Data
Parameters for synthesized stimuli. (XLSX)
Data
Implementation of synthetic song using MATLAB. (RTF)
Data
Correlations between high frequency, duration, and bandwidth. Correlations for high frequency, duration, and bandwidth using mean values from the 2nd note of songs from visually identified male and female birds. These acoustic features are weakly correlated and, therefore, provide largely independent characteristics of the songs. (PDF)
Article
Full-text available
Some acts of human cooperation are not easily explained by traditional models of kinship or reciprocity. Fitness interdependence may provide a unifying conceptual framework, in which cooperation arises from the mutual dependence for survival or reproduction, as occurs among mates, risk-pooling partnerships and brothers-in-arms.
Data
Average CT and calculated fold expression values for all individuals and genes. (XLSX)
Article
Full-text available
For echolocating bats, hearing is essential for survival. Specializations for detecting and processing high frequency sounds are apparent throughout their auditory systems. Recent studies on echolocating mammals have reported evidence of parallel evolution in some hearing-related genes in which distantly related groups of echolocating animals (bats...
Article
Sex-linked segregation distorters cause offspring sex ratios to differ from equality. Theory predicts that such selfish alleles may either go to fixation and cause extinction, reach a stable polymorphism, or initiate an evolutionary arms race with genetic modifiers. The extent to which a sex ratio distorter follows any of these trajectories in natu...
Article
Full-text available
Helping kin or nonkin can provide direct fitness benefits, but helping kin also benefits indirect fitness. Why then should organisms invest in cooperative partnerships with nonkin, if kin relationships are available and more beneficial? One explanation is that a kin-limited support network is too small and risky. Even if additional weaker partnersh...
Article
Full-text available
Cooperative behaviors exist along a spectrum of cost, from no-risk scenarios of mutual benefit to self-sacrificing altruism. Hamilton’s rule predicts that as risk increases, cooperative decisions should become increasingly kin-biased (nepotistic). To manipulate the per- ceived risks of regurgitated food sharing in captive vampire bats, we created...
Article
Bats actively adjust the acoustic features of their sonar calls to control echo information specific to a given task and environment. A previous study investigated how bats adapted their echolocation behavior when tracking a moving target in the presence of a stationary distracter at different distances and angular offsets. The use of only one dist...
Article
Full-text available
Animals living with kin and nonkin should make social decisions based on the consequences for both direct and indirect fitness. Common vampire bats, Desmodus rotundus, invest in stable cooperative relationships that benefit both components of inclusive fitness. To disentangle these two factors, we conducted two types of playback trials using a capt...
Article
Full-text available
Throughout their evolutionary history, genomes acquire new genetic material that facilitates phenotypic innovation and diversification. Developmental processes associated with reproduction are particularly likely to involve novel genes. Abundant gene creation impacts the evolution of chromosomal gene content and general regulatory mechanisms such a...
Article
Meiotic drivers are genetic variants that selfishly manipulate the production of gametes to increase their own rate of transmission, often to the detriment of the rest of the genome and the individual that carries them. This genomic conflict potentially occurs whenever a diploid organism produces a haploid stage, and can have profound evolutionary...
Article
Many species of birds conspicuously call or sing early in the morning, thereby creating an avian dawn chorus. While these vocalizations probably function to advertise territory occupancy, when species should start singing is not well understood. A common explanation is that birds sing at dawn to maximize signal transmission due to low atmospheric t...
Article
Full-text available
Many bats are extremely social. In some cases, individuals remain together for years or even decades and engage in mutually beneficial behaviours among non-related individuals. Here, we summarize ways in which unrelated bats cooperate while roosting, foraging, feeding or caring for offspring. For each situation, we ask if cooperation involves an in...
Article
Full-text available
Regurgitations of blood among vampire bats appear to benefit both direct and indirect fitness. To maximize inclusive fitness, reciprocal food sharing should occur among close kin. Why then do females with kin roost-mates help non-kin? We tested the hypothesis that helping non-kin increases a bat’s success at obtaining future donations by expanding...
Article
Intranasal oxytocin (OT) delivery has been used to non-invasively manipulate mammalian cooperative behavior. Such manipulations can potentially provide insight into both shared and species-specific mechanisms underlying cooperation. Vampire bats are remarkable for their high rates of allogrooming and the presence of regurgitated food sharing among...
Article
Animals foraging in the dark must simultaneously pursue prey, avoid collisions, and interact with conspecifics, making efficient non-visual communication essential. A variety of birds and mammals emit food-associated calls that inform, attract, or repel conspecifics. While echolocation by the insectivorous, aerial-hawking big brown bat (Eptesicus f...
Article
Full-text available
Multicellularity is characterized by cooperation among cells for the development, maintenance and reproduction of the multicellular organism. Cancer can be viewed as cheating within this cooperative multicellular system. Complex multicellularity, and the cooperation underlying it, has evolved independently multiple times. We review the existing lit...
Article
Full-text available
The factors influencing cancer susceptibility and why it varies across species are major open questions in the field of cancer biology. One underexplored source of variation in cancer susceptibility may arise from trade-offs between reproductive competitiveness (e.g. sexually selected traits, earlier reproduction and higher fertility) and cancer de...
Article
Full-text available
In long-lived temperate bats, female philopatry can influence the genetic structure of roosting groups and the potential for individuals to interact across generations. Although direct observation of dispersal between social groups is difficult given the vagility and nocturnal activity of most bats, molecular markers can be used to infer dispersal...
Article
Sexual selection drives fundamental evolutionary processes such as trait elaboration and speciation. Despite this importance, there are surprisingly few examples of genes unequivocally responsible for variation in sexually selected phenotypes. This lack of information inhibits our ability to predict phenotypic change due to universal behaviors, suc...
Article
Full-text available
We use three allopatric populations of the stalk-eyed fly Teleopsis dalmanni from Southeast Asia to test two predictions made by the sex chromosome drive hypothesis for Haldane's rule. The first is that modifiers that suppress or enhance drive should evolve rapidly and independently in isolated populations. The second is that drive loci or modifier...
Article
Full-text available
Although sex chromosome meiotic drive has been observed in a variety of species for over 50 years, the genes causing drive are only known in a few cases, and none of these cases cause distorted sex-ratios in nature. In stalk-eyed flies (Teleopsis dalmanni), driving X chromosomes are commonly found at frequencies approaching 30% in the wild, but the...
Article
Animals foraging in the dark are engaged simultaneously in prey pursuit, collision avoidance, and interactions with conspecifics, making efficient nonvisual communication essential. A variety of birds and mammals emit food-associated calls that inform, attract, or repel conspecifics (e.g., [1]). Big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus) are insectivorous a...
Article
Full-text available
Common vampire bats often regurgitate food to roost-mates that fail to feed. The original explanation for this costly helping behaviour invoked both direct and indirect fitness benefits. Several authors have since suggested that food sharing is maintained solely by indirect fitness because non-kin food sharing could have resulted from kin recogniti...
Article
Full-text available
Claims of reciprocity (or reciprocal altruism) in animal societies often ignite controversy because authors disagree over definitions, naturalistic studies tend to demonstrate correlation not causation, and controlled experiments often involve artificial conditions. Food sharing among common vampire bats has been a classic textbook example of recip...
Article
The steps by which isolated populations acquire reproductive incompatibilities remain poorly understood. One potentially important process is postcopulatory sexual selection because it can generate divergence between populations in traits that influence fertilization success after copulation. Here we present a comprehensive analysis of this form of...
Chapter
Full-text available
To be evolutionarily stable, cooperative behavior must increase the actor's lifetime direct fitness (mutualism) or indirect fitness (altruism), even in the presence of exploitative, noncooperative cheaters. Cooperators can control the spread of cheaters by targeting aid to certain categories of individual, such as genetic relatives or long-term soc...
Article
Full-text available
Vocalizations serving a variety of social functions have been reported in many bat species (Order Chiroptera). While echolocation by big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus) has been the subject of extensive study, calls used by this species for communication have received comparatively little research attention. Here, we report on a rich repertoire of vo...
Article
Full-text available
Comparative studies of language are difficult because few language precursors are recognized. In this paper we propose a framework for designing experiments that test for structural and semantic patterns indicative of simple or complex grammars as originally described by Chomsky. We argue that a key issue is whether animals can recognize full recur...
Article
Full-text available
Stalk-eyed flies (family Diopsidae) are a model system for studying sexual selection due to the elongated and sexually dimorphic eye-stalks found in many species. These flies are of additional interest because their X chromosome is derived largely from an autosomal arm in other flies. To identify candidate genes required for development of dimorphi...
Article
Exaggerated male ornaments are predicted to be costly to their bearers, but these negative effects may be offset by the correlated evolution of compensatory traits. However, when locomotor systems, such as wings in flying species, evolve to decrease such costs, it remains unclear whether functional changes across related species are achieved via th...
Article
Full-text available
Gene duplication provides an essential source of novel genetic material to facilitate rapid morphological evolution. Traits involved in reproduction and sexual dimorphism represent some of the fastest evolving traits in nature, and gene duplication is intricately involved in the origin and evolution of these traits. Here, we review genomic research...
Data
Protein alignment of bHLH and Bearded genes. Alignment file of the E(spl)-C proteins for all dipteran species used to generate phylogenies in Figure 3. and Figure 4.