Shakira G. Quiñones-Lebrón

Shakira G. Quiñones-Lebrón
Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts | ZRC SAZU · Jovan Hadži Institute of Biology

PhD

About

14
Publications
2,554
Reads
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85
Citations
Introduction
I'm currently interested in the evolution and maintenance of extreme phenotypic variation. For my PhD thesis I tested several natural and sexual selection pressures on body size in an extremely sexually dimorphic spider. My areas of focus include behavioral ecology, developmental plasticity, quantitative genetics, and sexual behavior.
Additional affiliations
October 2014 - present
Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts
Position
  • Research Assistant
Education
October 2014 - April 2020
University of Ljubljana
Field of study
  • Biology
August 2010 - May 2013
July 2005 - May 2010
University of Puerto Rico at Rio Piedras
Field of study
  • General Science

Publications

Publications (14)
Article
Full-text available
The biogenetic law posits that the ontogeny of an organism recapitulates the pattern of evolutionary changes. Morphological evidence has offered some support for, but also considerable evidence against, the hypothesis. However, biogenetic law in behavior remains underexplored. As physical manifestation of behavior, spider webs offer an interesting...
Article
Dolphins of Bocas del Toro are known to change their communication signals when interacting with dolphin‐watching boats. In this study we examine the role of engine noise, calf presence, and behavior on the emission rate of whistles. Whistle emission rate was measured in groups where calves were and were not present and while interacting and not in...
Article
Full-text available
Though not uncommon in other animals, heterospecific mating is rarely reported in arachnids. We investigated sexual interactions among four closely related and syntopical African golden orbweb spiders, Nephila inaurata, N. fenestrata, N. komaci, and N. senegalensis. In two South African localities, female webs were often inhabited by heterospecific...
Article
Full-text available
Selection pressures leading to extreme, female-biased sexual size dimorphism (SSD) in spiders continue to be debated. It has been proposed that males of sexually size dimorphic spiders could be small because gravity constrains adult agility (locomotor abilities). Accordingly, small males should achieve higher vertical climbing speeds and should be...
Article
Full-text available
The role of developmental plasticity in the evolution and maintenance of sexual size dimorphism (SSD) has recently received more attention. We experimentally investigated the effects of genetics (pedigree), social cues, and food availability on developmental time and adult male size in Nephilingis cruentata, an extremely female-biased sexually size...
Article
Full-text available
Adult body size, development time, and growth rates are components of organismal life histories, which crucially influence fitness and are subject to trade-offs. If selection is sex-specific, male and female developments can eventually lead to different optimal sizes. This can be achieved through developmental plasticity and sex-specific developmen...
Poster
Summary of PhD research presented at the first congress of Bioscience PhD students at the University of Ljubljana.
Article
Full-text available
The bottlenose dolphins of Dolphin Bay, in the Archipelago of Bocas del Toro sustain the largest dolphin watching industry in Panama. Since the establishment of this project 10 years ago, we have observed a rapid and disorganized development of the tourism infrastructure and dolphin-watching (DW) activities. These activities continue to growth with...
Article
Full-text available
Dolphins rely on whistles to identify each other and to receive and convey information about their environment. Although capable of adjusting these signals with changing environments, there is little information on how dolphins acoustically respond to different watercraft activities and if this response depends on dolphin behavioral state. Bottleno...
Article
Full-text available
The bottlenose dolphins of Dolphin Bay, in the Archipelago of Bocas del Toro sustain the largest dolphin watching industry in Panama. Since the establishment of this project 10 years ago, we have observed a rapid and disorganized development of the tourism infrastructure and dolphin-watching (DW) activities. These activities continue to growth with...
Data
Full-text available
Bottlenose dolphins are among the most studied cetaceans around the globe. Across its distribution there has been an increasing understanding of many aspects of their biology, however the lack of molecular studies is hindering adequate management planning regionally and locally. A recent study in the Caribbean has shown the existence of two forms a...
Data
Full-text available
Coastal bottlenose dolphin populations are frequently in contact with humans and are targeted by dolphin-watching boats. In the past 10 years dolphin watching has become a popular and profitable tourist attraction in Panama. Profitable wildlife observation can mutually benefit humans and wild animal populations, resulting in successful conservation...
Data
Full-text available
Coastal bottlenose dolphin populations are frequently in contact with humans and are targeted by dolphin-watching boats. In the past 10 years dolphin watching has become a popular and profitable tourist attraction in Panama. Profitable wildlife observation can mutually benefit humans and wild animal populations, resulting in successful conservation...

Questions

Question (1)
Question
I wonder if variability in metabolic rates plays a role in size variability within a population or species. I am particularly interested in looking at this relationship in ectotherms. 

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Cited By

Projects

Projects (2)
Project
Females and males commonly differ in the expression of traits. The evolution of sexual dimorphism requires sex-specific selection and at least partly independent genetic variation between the sexes. However, females and males share an almost identical genome that constrains the sexes to respond independently to the selection and may result in a stage when one or both sexes express traits outside their optima. Quantitative genetics provides tools to predict the extent to which the evolution of sexual dimorphism is genetically constrained between sexes by assessing the cross-sex genetic correlation. The cross‐sex genetic correlation can be estimated as rmf =COVAmf∕sqrt(VAf ∗VAm), where COVAmf is the additive genetic covariance between the sexes, and VAm and VAf are additive genetic variances of males and females, respectively. When is close to unity, the sexes are assumed to have a nearly identical genetic architecture for the trait and evolution of sexual dimorphism should be constrained; close to zero values of rmf indicate complete independence in the genetic architecture of the trait between males and females and thus sex independent evolution. A cross‐sex genetic correlation between zero and one suggests that some of the genes acting on the shared trait already differ between males and females and indicates a further possibility for the evolution of sexual dimorphism in the trait. In this project, we aim to assess genetic variances and cross‐sex genetic correlations of size in an extremely sexually-size dimorphic spider, Nephilinis cruentata. In these spiders, females are considerably larger than males, they weigh more than 70X more than males. Our preliminary analyses found rmf close to zero suggesting that females and males do not share genetic architecture for size, indicates a resolved intra-locus sexual conflict and potential for further sex independent evolution of size. The result reflects differences in the effects of sexual and natural selection on body size between the sexes. The amount of genetic variation is significantly lower in females compared to males implying that females have been under the stronger directional selection (for fecundity) compared to males that are more plastic.