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Bart Pollux is Associate Professor of Evolutionary Biology, at the Department of Animal Sciences at Wageningen University.

His research focuses on the evolution of complex reproductive adaptations, such as livebearing, superfetation and placentation. He is  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, he and his team 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. They 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.

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