Marine Ökologie

Mating Strategy in Marine Turtles

A central question in biology is how species can adapt to current environmental changes. Never before global conditions have changed as rapidly as nowadays. Although there is no doubt that microbes can adapt quickly to those changes, uncertainties remain for large vertebrates which already often suffer from major population decline. One challenge with those species is that lab experiments are not possible and therefore large knowledge comes from field studies. Using the loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) from Cape Verde, we investigate the evolvability of the species to possibly resist emerging diseases associated to global changes. To this end, we propose to characterize genes of the major histocompatibility (MHC) which play a crucial function at the root of the adaptive immune system. Evolution has found additive significance to those genes since they are also involved in female mate choice. Investigating female mating strategy in relation to MHC genes, we test for the possibility of populations to respond to emerging diseases.     

Kontakt

Projektleiter

Dr. Christophe Eizaguirre
GEOMAR | Helmholtz-Zentrum für Ozeanforschung Kiel
Düsternbrooker Weg 20 
24105 Kiel 
Telefon: 0431 600-4559
Telefax: 0431 600-4553
e-mail: ceizaguirre(at)geomar.de