I studied Zoology at Sheffield and, after working as a research assistant and postman, took up a PhD on sexual conflict in fruit flies at University College London. I was fascinated by the idea that reproduction involves differences of interest between partners, and that these conflicts can drive rapid evolutionary change, and even help instigate the formation of new species. After a post-doc I moved to Oxford in 2008 where I’m currently a research fellow. Much of recent work focuses on what male fruit flies transfer to females at mating. In addition to sperm cells, males provide a cocktail of seminal fluid proteins which are essential for fertility, and dramatically remodel female behaviour and physiology after mating. In particular, we’re interested in how ageing and nutrition influence what males give to females and how female respond.
I’ve been involved with a range of science outreach projects including performing at Science Showoff gigs, live dance shows, making videos and music for art/science collaborations, and assisting my grad students with their “Dance your PhD” productions. Check out some of our stuff here: http://wigbylab.com/media
What can a power ballad teach us about the sex life of a fruit fly?
Birds do it, bees do it, even the tiniest insects do it…but the sex life of certain insects might surprise you…
For this week’s episode of the Oxford Sparks Big Question podcast series, we visited a karaoke bar with Stuart Wigby, Sally le Page and Eleanor Bath from the Department of Zoology, Oxford University, to find out what a power Ballard can teach us about the sex life of a fruit...