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How to find us prof. dr. M.E. (Martine) Maan

Research interests



Our research is focused on understanding how new species are formed. Specifically, we ask how and when adaptation to different ecological conditions contributes to the development of reproductive barriers between subpopulations, such that they may become separate species.

In sexually reproducing organisms, selective mating is a critical step in the process of speciation. Such selective mating can be generated by geographic isolation, but this mechanism leaves many cases unexplained: new species form even when spatial isolation is absent or incomplete. In these cases, selective mating is the outcome of individual behavioural decisions, ultimately driven by natural selection.

We study how the exploitation of a new ecological opportunity, such as a different spatial niche or alternative food source, affects the behaviour of individuals in such a way that gene flow between populations is reduced.



Ongoing projects:

Divergent visual adaptation and sexual selection in cichlid fish 

Parasite-mediated divergent selection

Phenotypic plasticity and species divergence



Four new species of Cichlidogyrus (Platyhelminthes, Monogenea, Dactylogyridae) from Lake Victoria haplochromine cichlid fishes, with the redescription of C. bifurcatus and C. longipenis

Microhabitat distributions and species interactions of ectoparasites on the gills of cichlid fish in Lake Victoria, Tanzania

Seven questions on the chemical ecology and neurogenetics of resource-mediated speciation

Patterns of ectoparasite infection in wild-caught and laboratory-bred cichlid fish, and their hybrids, implicate extrinsic rather than intrinsic causes of species differences in infection

Temporally consistent species differences in parasite infection but no evidence for rapid parasite-mediated speciation in Lake Victoria cichlid fish

Testing sensory drive speciation in cichlid fish: Linking light conditions to opsin expression, opsin genotype and female mate preference

The rise of the three-spined stickleback: Eco-evolutionary consequences of a mesopredator release

Geographic variation in opsin expression does not align with opsin genotype in Lake Victoria cichlid populations

Visual adaptation and microhabitat choice in Lake Victoria cichlid fish

Cichlidogyrus parasitic infection and its potential role in the diversification of its cichlid fish host

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