E&E MPhil Exit Seminar: The effects of water on life-history and mating in seed beetles

How animals adapt to environmental stress has long been of concern. Studies looking at effects of resource limitation often focus on food. Water is also essential for life and can often be limiting in the environment. However, there is little known about how water availability affects the life history and mating traits of animals. In my Mphil, I used the seed beetle, Callosobruchus maculatus, to explore how water availability affects oviposition preferences, development and mating. My research shows that oviposition preferences don’t always match theoretical expectations, sheds light on how resource limitation mediates sexual conflict and improves our understanding of how water availability experienced at different stages is allocated to key fitness traits.