Philippe Helsen

Philippe Helsen
University of Antwerp | UA

PhD

About

28
Publications
9,717
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473
Citations
Additional affiliations
January 2009 - December 2009
Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences
Position
  • Scientific Staff
November 2004 - May 2012
University of Antwerp
Position
  • PostDoc Position

Publications

Publications (28)
Article
Full-text available
Theory suggests that hermaphroditic plants and animals should be either entirely outcrossing or entirely selfing. As such, very few hermaphroditic plants and basommatophoran snails have a mixed breeding system. However, reliable estimates of selfing rates are lacking for most hermaphroditic animals. This partly prevents to delineate the relative co...
Article
Full-text available
Recent technological advances in the field of genomics offer conservation managers and practitioners new tools to explore for conservation applications. Many of these tools are well developed and used by other life science fields, while others are still in development. Considering these technological possibilities, choosing the right tool(s) from t...
Article
Full-text available
Trans‐Saharan migratory bird species encounter large scale seasonal atmospheric convergence zones, where opposing monsoon and continental air masses meet. These macro‐scale atmospheric conditions determine local weather, influence migratory and foraging behaviour and seasonal bird survival rates. Here, we investigate the flight behaviour of pallid...
Article
For captive breeding to be an effective conservation tool, population fitness needs to be guaranteed according to the latest insights. Preserving genetic diversity has been a major pillar in conservation breeding, as it is a proxy for long‐term population viability. Small differences on the DNA level can impact an individual’s overall fitness and w...
Article
Humans have unique cognitive capacities that, compared with apes, are not only simply expressed as a higher level of general intelligence, but also as a quantitative difference in sociocognitive skills. Humans' closest living relatives, bonobos (Pan paniscus), and chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), show key between-species differences in social cogniti...
Article
Full-text available
Common chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) experienced a selective sweep, probably caused by a SIV-like virus, which targeted their MHC class I repertoire. Based on MHC class I intron 2 data analyses, this selective sweep took place about 2-3 million years ago. As a consequence, common chimpanzees have a skewed MHC class I repertoire that is enriched for...
Article
Full-text available
The West African manatee Trichechus senegalensis (LINK, 1795) is the least studied Sirenian species, with both old and fragmentary literature on the population in the Congo River estuary. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, T. senegalensis occurs up to 60 km upstream around Boma town, a zone under partial protection of the Marine Mangrove Park...
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Full-text available
Despite being closely related, bonobos and chimpanzees show remarkable behavioral differences, the proximate origins of which remain unknown. This study examined the link between behavioral variation and variation in the vasopressin 1a receptor gene (Avpr1a) in bonobos. Chimpanzees are polymorphic for a ~360 bp deletion (DupB), which includes a mic...
Article
Full-text available
While stress is expected to increase developmental instability (DI), not all studies confirm this. This heterogeneity could in part be due to the use of subtle differences between the left and right side of bilateral symmetrical organisms to quantify DI, leading to large sampling error obscuring associations with DI. Traits that develop simultaneou...
Article
Full-text available
Livestock conservation practice is changing rapidly in light of policy developments, climate change and diversifying market demands. The last decade has seen a step change in technology and analytical approaches available to define, manage and conserve Farm Animal Genomic Resources (FAnGR). However, these rapid changes pose challenges for FAnGR con...
Article
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Breeding programs for endangered species increasingly use molecular genetics to inform their management strategies. Molecular approaches can be useful for investigating relatedness, resolving pedigree uncertainties, and for estimating genetic diversity in captive and wild populations. Genetic data can also be used to evaluate the representation of...
Article
The importance of genes in regulating phenotypic variation of personality traits in humans and animals is becoming increasingly apparent in recent studies. Here we focus on variation in the vasopressin receptor gene 1a (Avpr1a) and oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) and their effects on social personality traits in chimpanzees. We combine newly availabl...
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Full-text available
Recent literature has revealed the importance of variation in neuropeptide receptor gene sequences in the regulation of behavioral phenotypic variation. Here we focus on polymorphisms in the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) and vasopressin receptor gene 1a (Avpr1a) in chimpanzees and bonobos. In humans, a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the th...
Article
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The okapi is an endangered, evolutionarily distinctive even-toed ungulate classified within the giraffidae family that is endemic to the Democratic Republic of Congo. The okapi is currently under major anthropogenic threat, yet to date nothing is known about its genetic structure and evolutionary history, information important for conservation mana...
Article
Full-text available
As in any vertebrate, heads of fishes are densely packed with functions. These functions often impose conflicting mechanical demands resulting in trade-offs in the species-specific phenotype. When phenotypical traits are linked to gender-specific parental behavior, we expect sexual differences in these trade-offs. This study aims to use mouthbroodi...
Article
Throughout history, remote archipelagos have repeatedly been designated natural laboratories to study evolutionary processes. The extensive, geographically structured, morphological variation within Galápagos' Opuntia cacti has been presumed to be another example of how such processes shape diversity. However, recent genetic studies on speciation a...
Article
This article documents the addition of 238 microsatellite marker loci and 72 pairs of Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) sequencing primers to the Molecular Ecology Resources Database. Loci were developed for the following species: Adelges tsugae, Artemisia tridentata, Astroides calycularis, Azorella selago, Botryllus schlosseri, Botrylloides vio...
Article
This article documents the addition of 238 microsatellite marker loci and 72 pairs of Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) sequencing primers to the Molecular Ecology Resources Database. Loci were developed for the following species: Adelges tsugae, Artemisia tridentata, Astroides calycularis, Azorella selago, Botryllus schlosseri, Botrylloides vio...
Article
Full-text available
Three processes play an important role in plant speciation: isolation, hybridization and polyploidization. Galapagos endemic Opuntia display putatively all of these processes. On this archipelago most islands are inhabited by a single Opuntia taxon. Santa Cruz, however, houses two morphologically distinct O. echios varieties (echios and gigantea)....
Article
Developmental instability (DI) as measured by fluctuating asymmetry (FA) has been proposed to reflect fitness and stress. Furthermore, the associated developmental buffering may reduce morphological variation, conceal the expression of genetic variation and as such play an important role in evolutionary biology. However, observed associations betwe...
Article
Due to the pronounced morphological variation and geographical distribution of Galápagos' Opuntia cacti, numerous hypotheses have been advanced regarding their radiation, diversification, and classification. The currently accepted classification is based on morphology and recognizes six species and fourteen varieties, but the plasticity of many of...
Article
The Opuntia (prickly pear) genus contains over 200 species. Six of them are endemic to the Galapagos archipelago. Although these cacti are ‘keystone’ species of the Galapagos’ semi-arid ecosystem, they have never been studied in detail. Because of their current threatened status and their important role in the ecosystem, we developed 16 microsatell...

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