Week 9a: sex in nature – when weird is normal

So far in this blog, we've covered a lot of different topics--defining sex and gender, different types of hermaphroditism, transgenderism, and more. We've covered a lot of ground. But sex and gender are absolutely enormous topics, and we’ve just seen the tip of the iceberg. For Week 9, I dove into a folder of papers … Continue reading Week 9a: sex in nature – when weird is normal

Advertisements

Week 07: Does transgenderism exist in nature? Some examples in birds and insects

Being transgender myself, I have often wondered if there are similar manifestations of gender expression in other species. This discussion seemed like the perfect place to explore this topic. There were quite a few papers to choose from. I picked two papers about birds, and one about insects because I felt that they provided the … Continue reading Week 07: Does transgenderism exist in nature? Some examples in birds and insects

Week 06: Sequential Hermaphroditism (or why to be wary of frog DNA)

Last week, we discussed one type of hermaphroditism: simultaneous (also known as synchronous) hermaphroditism, in which an individual produces both eggs and sperm at the same time (see Serena’s awesome blog post here for more info!) This week, we moved on to the other type of hermaphroditism: sequential hermaphroditism. A sequential hermaphrodite is an individual … Continue reading Week 06: Sequential Hermaphroditism (or why to be wary of frog DNA)

Week 03: Why are sperm so small? Or, how did anisogamy evolve?

During the first week of this course, I jumped at the chance to lead a discussion on the evolution of anisogamy. I wanted to share research I first encountered at a conference in August -- results from a lab that works in algae systems which have natural variation not only in sex determination mechanisms and … Continue reading Week 03: Why are sperm so small? Or, how did anisogamy evolve?