Student’s view - Evolutionary Biology
- Compensatory growth in the Least Killifish
The Least Killifish, Heterandria formosa, is a new model species in the Evolutionary Biology lab and an excellent candidate for testing hypotheses about the effect of a shortage of nutrients during early development on growth, body maintenance, reproduction and aging. During my first internship in this section I worked on the optimal design to determine compensatory growth in H. formosa. We focussed on housing conditions, feeding methods and regimes, size measurements, and did a prospective power analysis to assess the effectiveness of the experiments under different conditions.
I found the environment provided by the section of Evolutionary Biology inspiring and the project of my first internship challenging. The effects of inbreeding in the most favourite model species of this section; the tropical butterfly B. anynana, will be the topic of my second internship. The aim of my new experiments is to find explanations for the decreased mating success of these inbred males.
Erik van Bergen