Dr Irem Sepil

Research Interests

My research addresses an important but understudied aspect of reproductive ageing: declining ejaculate performance with male age. Using Drosophila melanogaster, the model organism for ageing and ejaculate research, I investigate (i) how ageing affects the male ejaculate, and variables that influence the rate of ejaculate ageing, (ii) the consequences of male reproductive ageing for sexual selection and sexual conflict. I use quantitative proteomic and cell-labelling techniques to study the age-related decline in the ejaculate; and to test the effects of lifespan-mediating interventions on ejaculate ageing. I am also interested in male reproductive strategies, sexual selection, sperm competition and life history.

Selected Publications

Hopkins BR, Sepil I, Thezenas ML, Craig J, Miller T, Charles PD, Fischer R, Kessler BM, Bretman A, Pizzari T & Wigby S (2019) Divergent allocation of sperm and the seminal proteome along a competition gradient in male Drosophila melanogaster. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 201906149; doi: 10.1073/pnas.1906149116


Sepil I, Hopkins BR, Dean R, Thezenas ML, Charles PD, Konietzny R, Fischer R, Kessler BM & Wigby S (2019) Quantitative proteomics identification of seminal fluid proteins in male Drosophila melanogaster. Molecular and Cellular Proteomics, 18:S46-S58; doi: 10.1074/mcp.RA118.000831 


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


Hopkins BR, Sepil I & Wigby S (2017) Seminal fluid. Current Biology, 27:R404 - R405; doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2017.03.063 


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


Sepil I, Radersma R, Santure AW, De Cauwer I, Slate J & Sheldon BC (2015) No evidence for MHC class I-based disassortative mating in a wild population of great tits. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 28:642–654; doi: 10.1111/jeb.12600


Sepil I, Lachish S, Hinks AE & Sheldon BC (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; doi: 10.1098/rspb.2013.0134


Sepil I, Lachish S & Sheldon BC (2013) MHC-linked survival and lifetime reproductive success in a wild population of great tits. Molecular Ecology, 22:384-396; doi: 10.1111/mec.12123


Sepil I, Moghadam HK, Huchard E & Sheldon BC (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; doi: 10.1186/1471-2148-12-68


View complete list of publications