• Ecology & Evolution

    Ecology & Evolution

Our research in the area of Ecology and Evolution aims to address several important questions and uses a host of approaches and techniques to achieve this. Most labs use multidisciplinary approaches spanning several areas such as molecular techniques, quantitative methods, GIS, laboratory experimentation on organism development and physiology, population dynamics, genetic analyses as well as satellite imagery.

Rama Singh
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LSB 531
(905) 525-9140 ext. 24378

My research area includes population genetics and evolutionary genomics of sexual selection and speciation. Current research includes development of a new theory of male-sex drive or male-driven sexual selection and its effect on rapid evolution of male-biased genes, modification of sex-biased fitness, and maintenance of sex. A special focus of our research involves application of male driven sexual selection theory to the origin of menopause, persistence of maternal mortality, and sex-biased evolution of disease and health in general. Our research work is relevant to all aspects of gender-based controversies in society.

Ecology & Evolution

  • Jagadeeshan, S., A. Gomes, R. Singh 2019. Mate choice and the persistence of maternal mortality. Reproductive Sciences. Vol. 26 (4):450-458. https://doi.org/10.1177/1933719118812730.
  • Ho, E.C.Y., J.N. Malagón, A. Ahuja, R.S. Singh, E. Larsen (2018) Rotation of sex combs in Drosophila melanogaster requires precise and coordinated spatio-temporal dynamics from forces generated by epithelial cells. PLoS Comput Biol 14(10): e1006455. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal. pcbi.1006455.
  • Singh, R.S. and S. Jagadeeshan. 2018. Charles Darwin: Theory of Sexual Selection. Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018 T. K. Shackelford, V. A. Weekes-Shackelford (eds.), Encyclopedia of evolutionary psychological sciences. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_1396-1.
  • Takahashi, M, R.S. Singh, J. R. Stone. 2016. A theory for the origin of human menopause. Front. Genet. 7:222. doi: 10.3389/fgene.2016.00222.
  • Singh, R.S. 2016. Sperm giants challenge sexual selection theory (Comments). http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v533/n7604/full/nature18005.html.
  • Singh, R.S. 2016. Science beyond boundary: Are premature discoveries things of the past? Genome 59: 433-437. https://doi.org/10.1139/gen-2016-0056.
  • Jagadeeshan, Santosh, Ushma Shah, Debarti Chakrabarti, and Rama Singh. 2015. Female choice or male sex drive? The advantages of male body size in competition and charm during mating in Drosophila melanogaster. PLoSONE10 (12): e0144672.doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0144672.
  • Singh, R.S. 2015. Limits of imagination: the 150th Anniversary of Mendel’s Laws, and why Mendel failed to see the importance of his discovery for Darwin’s theory of evolution. Genome 58: 1–7. dx.doi.org/10.1139/gen-2015-0107.
  • Jagadeeshan, S., Haerty, W., Moglinicka, M., Ahuja, A., De Vito, S, Singh, R.S. 2015. Evolutionary consequences of male driven sexual selection and sex-biased fitness modifications in Drosophila melanogaster and Members of the simulans Clade. International Journal of Evolutionary Biology, Volume 2015, Article ID 756269, 12 p. http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/756269.
  • Nicolás Malagón, Abha Ahuja, Gabilan Sivapatham, Julian Hung, Jiwon Lee, Sergio A. Muñoz-Gómez, Joel Atallah, Rama Singh, Ellen Larsen. 2014. The inextricable interplay between selection and variation: evolution of Drosophila sex comb length. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. PNAS, 111 (39) E4103-E4109; doi:10.1073/pnas.1322342111.
  • Singh, R.S. and J.R. Stone. 2013. Misconception & Menopause, Media & Public Reception, And The Larry King Effect. This View of Life (Magzine), June 21, 2013. https://evolution-institute.org/misconception-menopause-media-public-reception-and-the-larry-king-effect/.
  • Morton, R.A., J.R. Stone, and R.S. Singh. 2013. Mate choice and the origin of menopause. PLOS Computational Biology. Vol 9, issue 6. E1003092.https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1003092.
  • Singh, R.S., J.P. Xu, and Rob Kulathinal (Ed).2012. Rapidly evolving genes and genetic systems. pp.288, Oxford University Press: London
  • Singh, R.S. 2011. Darwin’s Legacy: Why biology is not physics or why evolution has not become a common sense. Genome 54: 1-6. doi: 10.1139/g11-046.
  • Artieri, C.G., and R.S. Singh. 2010. Molecular evidence for increased regulatory conservation during metamorphosis, and against deleterious cascading effects of hybrid breakdown in Drosophila. BMC Biology 8:26. doi: 10.1186/1741-7007-8-26.
  • Artieri, C.G., and R.S. Singh. 2010. Demystifying phenotypes: The comparative genomics of evo-devo. Fly 4.1: 18-20. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19955851.
  • Singh, R.S., and C.G. Artieri. 2010. Male Sex Drive and the maintenance of sex: Evidence from Drosophila Journal of Heredity 101(Supplement): S100-S106. https://doi.org/10.1093/jhered/esq006.
  • Artieri, C. G., W. Haerty and R.S. Singh. 2009. Ontogeny and phylogeny: molecular signatures of selection, constraint, and temporal pleiotropy in the development of Drosophila.  BMC Biology 7:42. https://doi.org/10.1186/1741-7007-7-42.
  • Haerty W, Artieri C, Khezri N, Singh RS, Gupta BP. 2008. Comparative analysis of function and interaction of transcription factors in nematodes: extensive conservation of orthology coupled to rapid sequence evolution. BMC Genomics 9:399. doi: 10.1186/1471-2164-9-399.
  • Ahuja, A., and R.S. Singh. 2008. Variation and evolution of sex combs in Drosophila: Nature of selection response and theories of genetic variation for sexual traits. Genetics 179: 503-509. doi: 10.1534/genetics.107.086363.
  • Artieri, C., W. Haerty, B. Gupta, and R.S. Singh. 2008. Sexual selection and maintenance of sex: Evidence from comparisons of genomic accumulation of mutations and divergence of sex-related genes in sexual and hermaphroditic species of Caenorhabditis. Mol Biol Evol 25:972-979. doi: 10.1093/molbev/msn046.
  • Artieri, C.G., Haerty, W., Singh, R.S. 2007. Association Between Levels of Coding Sequence Divergence and Gene Mis-regulation in Drosophila Male Hybrids. Journal of Molecular Evolution 65: 697-704. doi 10.1007/s00239-007-9048-2.
  • Haerty, W., Jagadeeshan, S., Kulathinal, R.J., Wong, A., Ravi Ram, K., Sirot, L.K., Levesque, L., Artieri, C.G., Wolfner, M.F., Civetta, A., Singh, R.S. 2007. Evolution in the fast lane: Rapidly evolving sex-related genes in Drosophila. Genetics 177: 1321-1335. DOI: 10.1534/genetics.107.078865.
  • Drosophila 12 Genome Consortium (including W. Haerty, C. Artieri, S. Jagadeeshan and R. Singh). 2007. Evolution of genes and genomes on the Drosophila phylogeny. Nature 450: 203-218. DOI:10.1038/nature06341.
  • Jagadeeshan S. and Singh R.S. 2007. Rapid evolution of outer egg membrane proteins in the Drosophila melanogaster subgroup: a case of ecologically driven evolution of female reproductive traits. Mol Biol Evol 24: 929-938. https://doi.org/10.1093/molbev/msm009.
  • Haerty W. and Singh R.S. 2006. Gene Regulation Divergence Is a Major Contributor to the Evolution of Dobzhansky-Muller Incompatibilities between Species of Drosophila. Mol Biol Evol 23: 1707-1714. DOI: 10.1093/molbev/msl033.
  • Jagadeeshan S. and Singh R.S. 2006. A time-sequence functional analysis of mating behaviour and genital coupling in Drosophila: role of cryptic female choice and male sex-drive in the evolution of male genitalia. J Evol Biol 19: 1058-1070. DOI:10.1111/j.1420-9101.2006.01099.x.
  • Torgerson, D.G., and Singh, R.S. 2006. Enhanced adaptive evolution of sperm-expressed genes on the mammalian X chromosome. Heredity 96(1): 39-44. DOI: 10.1038/sj.hdy.6800749.
  • Torgerson, D.G., Whitty, B.R., and Singh, R.S. 2005. Sex-specific functional specialization and the evolutionary rates of essential fertility genes. J. Mol. Evol. 61(5): 650-658. DOI: 10.1007/s00239-005-0007-5.
  • Jagadeeshan, S., and Singh, R.S. 2005. Rapidly Evolving Genes of Drosophila: Differing levels of Selective Pressure in Testis, Ovary and Head Tissues Between Sibling Species. Mol Biol Evol. 22: 1793 – 1801. DOI:10.1093/molbev/msi175.
  • Singh, R.S., and Kulathinal, R.J. 2005. Male sex-drive and masculinization of the genome. BioEssays 27: 518-25. DOI: 10.1002/bies.20212.
  • Torgerson, D.G., and Singh, R.S. 2004. Rapid evolution through gene duplication and sub functionalization of the testes-specific proteosome subunits in Drosophila. Genetics 168: 1421-1432. https://doi.org/10.1534/genetics.104.027631.
  • Singh, R.S. 2003. Darwin to DNA, molecules to morphology: the end of classical population genetics and the road ahead. Genome. 46(6): 938-942. https://doi.org/10.1139/g03-118.
  • Torgerson D.G., and Singh, R.S. 2003. Sex-linked mammalian sperm proteins evolve faster than autosomal ones. Mol. Biol. Evol. 20(10): 1705-1709. https://doi.org/10.1093/molbev/msg193


  • Singh, R.S., J.P. Xu, and Rob Kulathinal (Ed).2012. Rapidly evolving genes and genetic systems. pp.288, Oxford University Press: London.    
  • Singh, R.S., and M. Uyenoyama (Ed). 2004. The Evolution of Population Biology, pp. 460, Cambridge University Press, New York.
  • Singh, R.S., C. Krimbas, D. Paul, and J. Beatty (Ed). 2001. Thinking About Evolution: Historical, Philosophical and Political Perspectives. pp. 602, Cambridge University Press, New York.
  • Singh, R.S. and C. Krimbas (Ed). 2000. Evolutionary Genetics: From Molecules to Morphology. Pp. 702, Cambridge University Press, New York.
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McMaster University - Faculty of Science | Biology