Disease, Sex and Evolution
This thesis focuses upon some evolutionary problems related to sexual reproduction and disease. We first consider whether we should expect a fundamental difference between the outcomes of pre- and post-copulatory sexual conflict, and whether an informational asymmetry exists between the sexes. We then examine how sexually-transmitted infections can create selective pressures upon the evolution of mating systems, with a particular focus upon serial monogamy. We also consider more generally how pathogens can shape intraspecific interactions (by host avoidance), and how in turn host avoidance can alter the selective environment for pathogens. Finally, we examine how epidemiology and finite population size can interact to alter the evolution of sterility virulence, providing a novel explanation for why sterility virulence is more commonly associated with sexually-transmitted infections.