Dr Irem Sepil

Dr Irem Sepil

Irem Sepil


Name: Dr Irem Sepil
Position: Postdoctoral Researcher
Email: irem.sepil@zoo.ox.ac.uk


I obtained my BSc in Molecular Biology and Genetics from Bogazici University, Turkey, in 2005. I then worked as a research assistant at The Center of Tropical Research, UCLA, investigating the effects of deforestation on the prevalence of blood-borne parasites in African rainforest birds. I joined the EGI in 2008 as a DPhil student supervised by Prof. Ben Sheldon, studying variation and selection at Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) genes in the wild great tit population of Wytham Woods. In 2014, I took up a BBSRC-funded postdoctoral researcher position to work with Dr. Stuart Wigby on ageing and seminal fluid protein-mediated sexual selection in Drosophila.


My research addresses an important but understudied aspect of reproductive ageing: the ageing of the male ejaculate. Using Drosophila melanogaster, the model organism for ageing and ejaculate research, I aim to investigate (i) how ageing affects the male ejaculate, and variables that influence the rate of ejaculate ageing, (ii) the consequences of ageing of the ejaculate, for sexual selection and sexual conflict. I will develop quantitative proteomic methods to study the production and transfer of seminal fluid proteins, as male flies age; test the effects of lifespan-mediating interventions on ejaculate ageing; and measure the post-mating responses of females mated to males that vary in ejaculate age. The goal of the project is to provide a new level of understanding of the reproductive consequences of ageing and their impact upon inter- and intra-sexual dynamics.


Sepil, I., Carazo, P., Perry, J.C. & Wigby, S. 2016. Insulin signalling mediates the response to male-induced harm in female Drosophila melanogaster. Scientific Reports, 6, 30205; doi: 10.1038/srep30205

Carazo, P., Green, J., Sepil, I., Pizzari, T. & Wigby, S. 2016. Inbreeding removes sex differences in lifespan in a population of Drosophila melanogaster. Biology Letters, 12: 20160337

Sepil, I., Radersma, R., Santure, A.W., De Cauwer, I., Slate, J. & Sheldon, B.C. 2015. No evidence for MHC class I-based disassortative mating in a wild population of great tits. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, doi: 10.1111/jeb.12600.

Sepil, I., Lachish, S., Hinks, A.E. & Sheldon, B.C. 2013. MHC supertypes confer both qualitative and quantitative resistance to avian malaria infections in a wild population. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 280: 20130134.

Sepil, I., Lachish, S. & Sheldon, B.C. 2013. MHC-linked survival and lifetime reproductive success in a wild population of great tits. Molecular Ecology, 22, 384-396.

Sepil, I., Moghadam, H.K., Huchard, E. & Sheldon, B.C. 2012. Characterization and 454 pyrosequencing of Major Histocompatibility Complex class I genes in the great tit reveal complexity in a passerine system. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 12, 68 (highly accessed article).

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