Selective pressures on males and females may be very different, leading to differences between the sexes (i.e. sexual dimorphism) in sexual ornamentation, weaponry, as well as body size, in many species. Such different selective pressures on males and females may result in sexually antagonistic selection on the two sexes: genes that are advantageous when expressed in males, may by disadvantageous when expressed in females. Given that sexual dimorphism is very abundant, it is likely that sexually antagonistic effects are very common in nature. Sexually antagonistic may have important implications for the maintenance of genetic variation and sexual selection in natural populations. However, the study of sexual antagonism is still in its infancy, and most evidence comes from laboratory studies. With this project I aim to make an important contribution to the study of sexual antagonism, by studying sexually antagonistic effects and their phenotypic and genetic determinants in a wild mammal population. I will use a multidisciplinary approach, combining advanced molecular genetics methods and ecological field data. The proposed project will furthermore be of vital importance to advancing my career as an independent researcher in ecological and evolutionary research.
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