Jeff A Graves

Jeff A Graves
University of St Andrews

About

203
Publications
11,392
Reads
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3,022
Citations
Additional affiliations
January 1990 - present
University of St Andrews
Position
  • Professor (Associate)

Publications

Publications (203)
Article
Full-text available
Sociality beyond mated pairs, whether in the form of nesting colonies, clustered territories or leks, presents an evolutionary puzzle because densely packed individuals typically incur high fitness costs. One hypothesis to explain clustered distributions is that they overlie clumped distributions of resources. However, numerous studies have shown t...
Article
We studied the prevalence and genetic diversity of malaria parasites in the poorly investigated spotless starling (Sturnus unicolor) breeding in central Spain, aiming to describe the phylogenetic relationships among them and with other haemosporidians infecting the genus Sturnus. A total of 180 nestlings and 180 adult individuals from four differen...
Article
Full-text available
1. In the United Kingdom (UK), several harbour seal (Phoca vitulina) populations have been declining over the past decade. In order to understand the effect of these changes in abundance, this study seeks to determine the population structure of harbour seals in the UK, and in Scotland in particular, on a wider and finer spatial scale than has prev...
Article
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Animal social behaviors are often mediated by signals that provide information about signaler attributes. Although some signals are structurally simple, others are temporally dynamic and multifaceted. In such cases, exaggeration of some display components is likely to curtail the expression of others. We quantified features of the acrobatic, multim...
Article
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Models of sexual selection predict that socially monogamous females may gain direct or indirect (genetic) benefits by mating with multiple males. We addressed current hypotheses by investigating how, in the socially monogamous blue-black grassquit (Volatinia jacarina), male courtship and territory quality varied with social and extrapair paternity....
Article
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Identifying the processes that drive changes in the abundance and distribution of natural populations is a central theme in ecology and evolution. Many species of marine mammals have experienced dramatic changes in abundance and distribution due to climatic fluctuations and anthropogenic impacts. However, thanks to conservation efforts, some of the...
Article
Sexual selection may facilitate speciation if it promotes divergence in attributes used in mate choice, causing prezygotic isolation between populations. Brown boobies, Sula leucogaster, are seabirds that can be grouped into four genetic clusters and two male plumage morphs: brown-headed sexually monomorphic and white-headed male dimorphic. The ext...
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Despite their endangered status, the taxonomic relationship between the two geographically isolated South Asian river dolphin populations has never been comprehensively assessed and remains contentious. Here we present the first dedicated evaluation of the molecular phylogenetic relationship between the Indus (Platanista gangetica minor) and Ganges...
Article
Studies on sexual selection in birds have focused on female assessment of genetic or non-genetic qualities of potential partners, using cues such as plumage coloration and song. Here, we review published data on breeding, mating systems, and communication in the blue-black grassquit (. Volatinia jacarina), a common neotropical passerine with social...
Data
Full-text available
Genetic data can provide a powerful tool for those interested in the biology, management and conservation of wildlife, but also lead to erroneous conclusions if appropriate controls are not taken at all steps of the analytical process. This particularly applies to data deposited in public repositories such as GenBank, whose utility relies heavily o...
Article
Full-text available
Genetic data can provide a powerful tool for those interested in the biology, management and conservation of wildlife, but also lead to erroneous conclusions if appropriate controls are not taken at all steps of the analytical process. This particularly applies to data deposited in public repositories such as GenBank, whose utility relies heavily o...
Article
Full-text available
Sexual dimorphism is often used as a proxy for the intensity of sexual selection in comparative studies of sexual selection and diversification. The Mexican Goodeinae are a group of livebearing freshwater fishes with large variation between species in sexual dimorphism in body shape. Previously we found an association between variation in morpholog...
Article
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Females are expected to partition resources be-tween offspring in a context-dependent way to maximise total fitness returns from a reproductive attempt. Female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) vary the allocation of yolk androgens and antioxidants among offspring. Importantly, the balance between androgens and antioxi-dants in yolks may be more...
Article
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Mothers can non-genetically influence offspring phenotype in response to environmental conditions, including mate attractiveness. If such 'maternal effects' influence the offspring's reproduction and F2 generation, there is a mechanism for non-genetic trans-generational effects on phenotype, including epigenetic phenomena, with implications for evo...
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Guira Cuckoos (Guira guira) are cooperative breeders with joint nests, where several breeding and nonbreeding males and females remain in a cohesive unit through repeated breeding attempts within a single territory. We used nine microsatellite markers to analyze parentage and relatedness in a population of Guira Cuckoos in central Brazil, comprisin...
Article
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Many duetting species are monomorphic and the suggestion has recently been made that duets may be female-led more often than has been supposed in the past. Observations were carried out on several marked individuals of two monomorphic duetting species, the Moho, Hypergerus atriceps, and Yellow-crowned Gonolek, Laniarius barbarus, in The Gambia. DNA...
Article
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We observed 10 breeding pairs within a subcolony of Herring Gulls to ascertain the frequency of intrusion by non-resident gulls, the reasons for these intrusions, and the nature of the responses to them by the territory holders. Most observations were made during the post-hatch phase in order to determine how intrusion might affect chick rearing st...
Article
Full-text available
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
The frequency of chicks resulting from extra-pair copulation in the shag, Phalacrocorax aristotelis, was measured by DNA fingerprinting. DNA fingerprints were taken from both sexes of 15 pairs and their chicks (28) in a subcolony on the Isle of May, UK. It was found that 18% of the chicks had extra-pair paternity, and one chick (3.5%) was not the o...
Article
Full-text available
Blue-black Grassquits (Volatinia jacarina) are small, granivorous, Neotropical birds that are abundant in central Brazil. During the reproductive season, the socially monogamous males acquire a blue-black plumage and defend very small, clustered territories that resemble leks. They execute a conspicuous courtship display that consists of a leap, re...
Article
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The traditionally-defined wren genus Thryothorus is notable for its diversity of singing styles with some species producing highly coordinated duets or choruses in various formats while, at the other extreme, songs are performed almost exclusively by males. In this comparative study, we document the singing styles of almost all of the 27 or so spec...
Article
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Reproduction in opportunistically breeding bird species has traditionally been considered non-seasonal with individuals taking advantage of favourable environmental conditions as they arise. However, some studies imply that this opportunistic breeding may be superimposed on an underlying seasonality, which has effects on the readiness to breed when...
Article
We describe polymerase chain reaction primers and amplification conditions for 13 microsatellite DNA loci isolated from two bisexual species of whiptail lizards Aspidoscelis costata huico and Aspidoscelis inornata. Primers were tested on either 16 or 48 individuals of A. c. huico and/or 26 individuals of A. inornata. Ten of the 13 primers were also...
Article
Microsatellites were used to investigate fine-scale spatial and temporal genetic structure of a gray seal breeding colony, using samples collected throughout the colony (1997) and more extensive local sampling (2000–2002). Previous behavior of breeding seals on North Rona, including philopatry and high breeding site fidelity, suggested female kin m...
Article
Extra-pair reproduction is known to occur in many avian species. However, among passerines, the majority of studies on extra-pair reproduction have been carried out in oscine birds from temperate regions. Conversely, sub-oscines species, and particularly, species that inhabit tropical regions, have been studied to a much lesser extent. Given that a...
Article
Full-text available
Extra-pair reproduction is known to occur in many avian species. However, among passerines, the majority of studies on extra-pair reproduction have been carried out in oscine birds from temperate regions. Conversely, sub-oscines species, and particularly, species that inhabit tropical regions, have been studied to a much lesser extent. Given that a...
Article
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The growing number of grey seals in the Baltic Sea has led to a dramatic increase in interactions between seals and fisheries. The conflict has become such a problem that hunting was introduced in Finland in 1998 and the Swedish Environment Protection Agency recommended a cull of grey seals starting in 2001. Culling has been implemented despite the...
Article
Genetic differentiation arises due to the interaction between natural and sexual selection, migration and genetic drift. A potential role of sexual selection in speciation has received much interest, although comparative studies are inconsistent in finding supporting evidence. A poorly tested prediction is that species subject to a higher intensity...
Article
Full-text available
During the reproductive season Blue-black grassquit (Volatinia jacarina) males are found in clusters, wherein they exhibit a distinctive display that consists of repeated, vertical leaps while simultaneously producing a brief vocalization. The main objective of this study was to describe details of the species' reproductive behavior in a "Cerrado"...
Article
Complexity in bird song is often argued to be advantageous in processes of sexual selection, and numerous studies show that characteristics of song are associated with increased success in territory defence or mate attraction. Less evidence exists on the relationship between bird song characteristics and patterns of extra-pair paternity. We tested...
Article
The cross-utility of 12 microsatellite loci (including nine newly developed loci) amongst the viviparous subfamily, the Mexican Goodeinae, was assessed, examining both the probability of amplification and the potential incidence of null alleles from tests of FIS. Genetic diversity was relatively high in comparison to other freshwater species. Ampli...
Article
Full-text available
Many studies have demonstrated influences of climatic variation on a variety of ecological processes, however, its impact on the potent evolutionary force of sexual selection has largely been ignored. The intensity of sexual selection is a fundamental parameter in animal populations, which depends upon the degree of polygamy and will probably be in...
Article
Maternal effects occur when offspring phenotype is affected by environmental factors experienced by the mother and, in egg-laying species, are often mediated via egg resources. There is currently great interest among behavioural ecologists in maternally allocated yolk androgens, especially their relationship with offspring sex and development. Such...
Article
Full-text available
Spotless and European starlings (Sturnus unicolor and Sturnus vulgaris) have attracted attention from researchers interested in sexual selection, evolution of parental care and reproductive strategies. Both species show high levels of intraspecific nest parasitism and extra-pair paternity, but research in this area is hampered by a lack of molecula...
Article
Wrens of the genus Thryothorus comprise over a third of the species diversity in the family Troglodytidae. In addition to this species diversity, these wrens vary in a number of behavioral characteristics, in particular in the presence and structure of vocal duets, which makes them an interesting target for comparative evolutionary ecological and b...
Article
Full-text available
Blue-black Grassquits (Volatinia jacarina) are small, granivorous, Neotropical birds that are abundant in central Brazil. During the reproductive season, the socially monogamous males acquire a blue-black plumage and defend very small, clustered territories that resemble leks. They execute a conspicuous courtship display that consists of a leap, re...
Article
Full-text available
Maternal effects occur when offspring phenotype is influenced by environmental factors experienced by the mother. Mothers are predicted to invest differentially in offspring in ways that will maximize offspring fitness depending on the environment she expects them to encounter. Here, we test for maternal effects in response to mate attractiveness o...
Article
Molecular studies of pinniped breeding systems exhibit a broad range of agreement and disagreement with observational indices of male breeding success. Grey seal studies have reported considerable discrepancies between genetic and behavioural paternity measures that have been interpreted as evidence of previously unidentified male strategies and/or...
Article
Summary • Egg laying is costly for birds, as eggs must contain all the energy and nutrients needed by the developing embryo. As nutrients are limiting, there is a conflict between provisioning eggs and conserving nutrients for future health and survival. • Life-history theory suggests that females should choose how to invest resources in relation t...