Arachnids have extreme forms of sexual conflict – a fight between males and females where one sex tries to gain the most out of sex while being detrimental to the other sex (namely sexual cannibalism, forced copulation). In the bulb mite, males can develop a fighter morph, which allows them to kill off and effectively monopolize females. However, how do males assess when monopolization is the best method of attaining high fitness matings? When do the costs of fighting other males outweigh the benefits? Which females are worth fighting for?


This project will investigate how males assess female quality and explore the costs and benefits of fighting for females.

Student benefits

You'll work in a fun lab using innovative techniques to explore novel and diverse questions. You'll learn many skills associated with conducting research, which include but are not limited to:

  • experimental design
  • extensive lab work
  • statistical analysis
  • writing and publishing a scientific paper.

Get involved

To learn more about this project, contact Professor Michael Kasumovic and Anastasia Shavrova