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 James Rapkin

James Rapkin

PG research student

 Daphne du Maurier 3052


Daphne du Maurier Building, University of Exeter,  Penryn Campus, Penryn, Cornwall, TR10 9FE, UK

I am an evolutionary biologist with a broad interest in life history theory, sexual selection and sexual conflict. Specifically I am interested in the role nutrition plays in these evolutionary processes.

I use laboratory based insect models to empirically test these evolutionary theories through the use of manipulative experimental designs utilizing the geometric framework of nutrition.


2011 BSc (Honors) Evolutionary Biology (University of Exeter)


Research projects

Project Title: Food for Thought: The Importance of Nutrition in Sexual Selection

Supervisors: Dr John Hunt and Professor David Hosken

Funding Body: NERC

Project Description:
The role of nutrition has a long and important history in the study of sexual selection. It is well known that the expression of male sexual traits are influenced by diet and that reproductive effort is costly and limited under dietary restriction. Though we still know very little about how the intake of specific nutrients influence the evolutionary process, it is thought to be significant.

I will be combining the fields of quantitative genetics, experimental evolution, nutritional geometry and physiological ecology. The primary objective being to extend the existing theory to examine how the intake of multiple nutrients influences the mechanisms of sexual selection.

Ingleby, F.C, Hosken, D. J., Flowers, K., Hawkes, M.F., Lane, S.M., Rapkin, J., House, C. M., Sharma, M. D. & Hunt, J. 2014. Environmental heterogeneity, multivariate sexual selection, and genetic constraints on cuticular hydrocarbons in Drosophila simulans. Journal of Evolutionary Biology. 27(4):700-713.
Ingleby, F.C., Hosken, D. J., Flowers, K., Hawkes, M.F., Lane, S.M., Rapkin, J., Dworkin, I. & Hunt, J. 2013. Genotype by environment interactions for cuticular hydrocarbon expression in Drosophila simulans. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 26: 94-107.

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