Michael Roast

Michael Roast
University of Barcelona | UB · Facultad de Biología

Doctor of Philosophy
Currently studying population demographics of Atlantic seabirds and sea turtles with the Seabird Ecology Lab

About

17
Publications
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182
Citations
Introduction
Through 2021 and 2022 I will be assessing the impacts of fisheries bycatch in the Canary Current Large Marine Ecosystem (CCLME) on seabird and sea turtle populations in the Atlantic basin. This work is part of the larger 'Bycatch' project funded by MAVA Foundation, with collaboration between University of Barcelona and Birdlife Africa. Previously, during my PhD at Monash University (Australia) and early post-doc, my research focused on ecoimmunology and behavioural ecology.

Publications

Publications (17)
Article
Full-text available
Investment in immune function can be costly, and life-history theory predicts trade-offs between immune function and other physiological demands. Environmental heterogeneity may constrain or change the optimal strategy and thereby alter baseline immune function (possibly mediated by stress responses). We tested several hypotheses relating variation...
Article
Full-text available
The evolution of conspicuous male traits is thought to be driven by female mate choice or male–male competition. These two mechanisms are often viewed as distinct processes, with most studies focusing on female choice. However, both mechanisms of sexual selection can act simultaneously on the same trait (i.e., dual function) and/or interact in a sy...
Article
Full-text available
Poor conditions during early development can initiate trade‐offs that favour current survival at the expense of somatic maintenance and subsequently, future reproduction. However, the mechanisms that link early and late life‐history are largely unknown. Recently it has been suggested that telomeres, the nucleoprotein structures at the terminal end...
Article
Full-text available
We assessed the relationship between body size and several important life history parameters to understand the demographic significance of inter-population variability in the body size of loggerhead turtles Caretta caretta nesting in Boa Vista Island (Cabo Verde). The adult growth rate (0.34 ± 0.60 cm yr–1), annual mortality rate (0.13, 95% CI: 0.1...
Article
Full-text available
Telomere length (TL) shortens with age but telomere dynamics can relate to fitness components independent of age. Immune function often relates to such fitness components and can also interact with telomeres. Studying the link between TL and immune function may therefore help us understand telomere–fitness associations. We assessed the relationship...
Article
Full-text available
Telomeres are protective, nucleoprotein structures at the end of chromosomes that have been associated with lifespan across taxa. However, the extent to which these associations can be attributed to absolute length versus the rate of telomere shortening prior to sampling remains unresolved. In a longitudinal study, we examined the relationship betw...
Article
Aging is associated with declines in physiological performance; declining immune defenses particularly could have consequences for age-related fitness and survival. In aging vertebrates, adaptive (memory-based) immune responses typically become impaired, innate (nonspecific) responses undergo lesser declines, and inflammation increases. Longitudina...
Article
Understanding the major evolutionary transition from solitary individuals to complex societies is hampered by incomplete insight into the drivers of living in cooperative groups.1, 2, 3 This may be because the benefits of sociality can derive from group living itself (e.g., dilution of predation risk),⁴,⁵ or depend on social context (e.g., kin or p...
Article
Elaborate ornamental traits are commonly assumed to be honest signals of individual quality, owing to the presumed costs involved in their production and/or maintenance. Such traits are often highly variable, possibly because of condition-dependence and/or high underlying genetic variation, and it has been suggested that their expression should be...
Preprint
Telomeres are protective, nucleoprotein structures at the end of chromosomes that have been associated with lifespan across taxa. However, the extent to which these associations can be attributed to absolute length versus the rate of telomere shortening prior to sampling remains unresolved. In a longitudinal study, we examined the relationship betw...
Article
Sexual ornaments are often considered honest signals of quality because potential costs or constraints prevent their display by low-quality individuals. Testing for potential physiological costs of ornaments is difficult, as this requires experimentally forcing individuals to produce and display elaborate ornaments. We use this approach to test whe...
Article
Although crucial for host survival when facing persistent parasite pressure, costly immune functions will inevitably compete for resources with other energetically expensive traits such as reproduction. Optimizing, but not necessarily maximizing, immune function might therefore provide net benefit to overall host fitness. Evidence for associations...
Thesis
Full-text available
Animal immune systems are essential for defence against parasitism and disease. Immune functions are costly because they require resources to operate and can cause collateral damage to an organism’s own cells. These costs are important when resources are finite because they may result in physiological trade-offs between immune function and other co...
Article
Full-text available
Malarial and other haemosporidian parasites are widespread; however, their temporal dynamics are ill-understood. Longitudinal sampling of a threatened riparian bird revealed a consistently very low prevalence over 13 years (∼5%) despite infections persisting and prevalence increasing with age. In contrast, three key species within this tropical com...
Article
Individual hosts differ extensively in their competence for parasites, but traditional research has discounted this variation, partly because modeling such heterogeneity is difficult. This discounting has diminished as tools have improved and recognition has grown that some hosts, the extremely competent, can have exceptional impacts on disease dyn...

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