Deciphering the maintenance of diversity in appearance under natural selection
An organism's ability to survive and reproduce is genetically based on a population’s new alleles, the variant forms of genes. Genetic variation allows natural selection to increase or decrease the frequency of alleles that already exist in the population and usually enables more phenotypic variation. Through a case study of Nudibranchs, the EU-funded MOVAC project will examine how colour pattern variation is maintained in species that exhibit anti-predator warning colouration. The aim of the project is to enhance the knowledge about the chemical ecology of these important shell-less marine molluscs and to develop theoretical models applicable to a vast range of ecological and evolutionary processes.