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Project for Research Experiences for Undergraduates

2012 Summer Program, June 11 - August 3, 2012

National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS)
at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Title: Modeling the evolution of sexual imprinting

Mentors: Dr. Heather Finotti (Mathematics) and Dr. Tucker Gilman (Biology)

gender photo. Sexual imprinting is a process by which an individual's mate preference is learned through interaction with the environment. Young individuals that imprint on parents, siblings, or neighbors will look for similar traits in potential mates. Learned mate preferences are believed to play an important role in speciation, but how imprinting strategies evolve is only partly understood. We will use novel mathematical models to ask how imprinting strategies evolve, and how evolved strategies are likely to differ between males and females.


Abstract of project report (PDF)

Return to REU 2012.

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NSF logo. NIMBioS is supported by the National Science Foundation through NSF Award #DBI-1300426, with additional support from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
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