Current projects in which I’m involved (in collaboration with John Fitzpatrick, Niclas Kolm and Alberto Corral López):
Genotype by Environment Interaction (GEI) and sperm competition.
Ejaculates of different males often compete with those of other rivals, within or outside the female, to fertilize the same eggs. Not all ejaculates, however, are the same and the environmental condition that can favour one, could be not the best for another. Using different fish species my intent is to evaluate the role of biotic and abiotic environment on the outcome of sperm competition, possibly answering to the question of why, despite the final goal is fertilization, so much variability is observed in ejaculate traits.
Non Linear selection analysis and social environment.
Selection, in nature, rarely operates on a single individual trait. More often selection takes in to account all the traits that form the individual. Those traits range from microscopically cell attributes to elaborate sexual behaviours. Selection, moreover, is not always directional and sometimes different trait combinations can lead to the same fitness success. Taking in to account what happens before and after the mate, the aim of this project is to describe in detail selection shape on a wide set of traits that describe individuals, placing them in different social environments. For this project I will use different fish species.
Cryptic female choice for genetic compatible partners.
Once mated, females are able to strongly influence the outcome of sperm competition favouring some ejaculates over others. This ability can enable females to “chose again” the males and, importantly can help to avoid both inbreeding and outbreeding. The aim of this project is to understand the mechanism through which females are able to distinguish different male sperm and evaluate how much, and in which way, genetic similarity is involved. Do the choice after copulation reflect that done before mating? I use fish and mammal species to answer this question.
Google Scholar Page:
Alessandro Devigili, Andrea Di Nisio, Alessandro Grapputo, Andrea Pilastro. 2016. Directional postcopulatory sexual selection is associated with female sperm storage in Trinidadian guppies. Evolution 70.
Alessandro Devigili, Jonathan P Evans, Andrea Di Nisio, Andrea Pilastro. 2015. Multivariate selection drives concordant patterns of pre- and postcopulatory sexual selection in a livebearing fish. Nature Communications 6.