Dr Irem Sepil

Research Interests

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: 

  1. how ageing affects the male ejaculate, and variables that influence the rate of ejaculate ageing
  2. 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.

Selected Publications

Le Page, S., Sepil, I., Flintham, E., Pizzari, T., Carazo, P. & Wigby, S. 2017. Male relatedness and familiarity are required to modulate male-induced harm to females in Drosophila. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 284: 20170441; doi: 10.1098/rspb.2017.0441

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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