Dr. B.J.A. Pollux
Associate Professor Evolutionary Biology
Experimental Zoology Group
Department of Animal Sciences
Zodiac, Building 122
De Elst 1
NL-6708 WD Wageningen
Phone: +31.(0)317.486083 (my office)
Phone: +31.(0)317.483509 (secretary)
Last updated: 12 March 2021
Three placental livebearing fish from the family Poeciliidae in the proces of giving birth: (left) Heterandria formosa, (middle) Poeciliopsis turneri and (right) Phalloptychus januarius. Photo credits: Mike Fleuren.
Welcome to the Pollux Placenta Lab
My research focuses on the evolution of complex reproductive adaptations, such as livebearing, superfetation and placentation. I am trying to understand: (i) what the ecological variables are that drive the evolution of these complex adaptations, (ii) what the anatomical, physiological and molecular changes are that underly their evolution, and (iii) what the consequences are of these novel adaptations for sexual selection and maternal-fetal interactions during development. To study these questions, we perform comparative studies at the species (macro-evolutionary) and population (micro-evolutionary) level to investigate the ecology, (stress) physiology, life history evolution, biomechanics, immunology, genomics and transcriptomics associated with these reproductive adaptations. We use Cyprinodontiform fishes because: (a) livebearing, superfetation and placentation independently evolved multiple times in this Order (i.e. in the family Poeciliidae, Anablepidae and Goodeidae), (b) these fish can be found in a range of different environments, (c) they have fast generation times, (d) are easy to keep and experiment with in the lab and (e) are very cool fish.