In our project in Brazil (FAPESP #2014/24972-4) we investigate the evolutionary diversification of frogs in the genus Cycloramphus (Cycloramphidae) at three different scales that address distinct processes: variation among species, among populations, and among individuals. Here we propose to make important advances in the last part of these studies at Cornell University, and in the process, make use of new laboratory and analytical tools that will enhance our power to address questions about diversification in this group. Sexual selection acts on morphological and behavioral traits of males, what leads to greater reproductive successes, directly in consequence of the male-male competition and, indirectly, from mate choice made by females. Social and ecological contexts are also important factors for anuran reproduction. Rarely we have the opportunity to verify the existing link between individual traits and its reproductive success. The genus Cycloramphus includes frog species endemic to the Brazilian Atlantic Forest that exhibit specialized life histories and reproductive habits. With particular environmental requirements, these anurans are excellent organisms for evolutionary studies of sexual selection. We propose to investigate the social system in Cycloramphus boraceiensis, aiming to understand its mating system and the relatedness within a local population. We propose to verify possible relations between reproductive success and adult traits as well as the kin-bias hypothesis recently revealed for a sister genus. At Cornell, we will apply microsatellites sequencing laboratory methods and perform analyses for this study. The writing of these results will compose the third chapter of the candidate's Ph.D.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: