Amber Makowicz

Hector Postdoctoral Fellow
Biology Department
Lehrstuhl für Zoologie und Evolutionsbiologie,
University Konstanz,
Universitätsstraβe 10, 78457
Konstanz, Germany

+49 (0) 7531 884660

Currently, I am a Postdoc Researcher at the University of Konstanz with Dr. Axel Meyer. I am studying parental effects of stress using genetic, behavioral, and life history approaches in various poeciliid fishes. Understanding how parental stress is transferred, how males and females differ in transferring stress, and what effects ( behavioral, life-history, and genetic) do the offspring exhibit are a result of that stress are some of my key questions.

I graduated in 2015 as a PhD student in Dr. Ingo Schlupp’s lab studying kin recognition in a unisexual Poeciliid, Poecilia formosa
The theory of kin selection predicts that individuals that share common genes would benefit from the reproductive fitness of each other; therefore, related individuals should be more altruistic and less antagonistic. Theory would predict that the unisexual species would be able to discriminate among clonal strands, associate more frequently and display less aggressive behaviors towards identical sisters. In the sexual/unisexual mating system assessed here there are two species, P. latipinna and P. formosa, in which the females compete for the same males. These females live in large, open shoals that constantly vary in the ratio of each species throughout the seasons, in which the social environment may influence individuals to adjust their behaviors towards each other, not only within species but also between species. Consequently, studying the cooperation and conflict within this sexual/unisexual mating system will lead to a better understanding of the evolution of sociality.

I received my Master's degree in 2011, studying the cost of living in social environments, focusing on sexual behaviors in the sailfin molly, Poecilia latipinna Specifically, how and if sexual harassment and female-female aggression directly or indirectly impact individuals, through the advantage point of males and females using a combination of behavioral and life history techniques. 

I am also interested in the social network of individuals within a population. Audience effects (how a third non-participate influences an  interacting pair) have been shown to alter inter- and intra-sexual conflicts.  Previously I have investigated how this effects mate choice and sexual harassment. What’s more, I have dabbled in morphology and species diversification in Gambusia.