By week two I had already had the chance to interview three amazing scientists here within the faculty, Dr Susanne Shultz, Professor Daniel Davis and Professor Richard Bardgett. The interviews were full of awesome content so we decided to present two interviews this week and one in the next podcast, in order to not cut out too much cool stuff. You will hear from Professor Richard Bardgett, an expert in Ecology, next episode.
Ever wondered why we tend to live in pairs? Monogamy is a mating system whereanimals tie the knot in essence, and stick with a life partner for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, through sickness and in health. But in general, it is rare for mammals to form these life partners, as males can make a quick escape and sow their seed elsewhere whilst females heavily invest in their young. So why, in primates, are almost a quarter of the species monogamous? Dr Susanne Shultz tells us about her recent research, looking at the possible driving factor for the evolution of monogamy and why some species still stick with the old polyngandrous mating system, where multiple males mate with multiple females. She also gives us clues as to how you might be able to tell if your partner may be more likely to be faithful or stray.
Secondly we spoke to Professor Daniel Davis about his book, ‘The Compatibility Gene’ (available on amazon). These are the genes that are the most different between all of us, and govern how well we recover from diseases… they also have other, more surprising and unusual roles, but you’ll have to listen to the podcast to find out more! In his book, he takes you through the magical journey of how these genes were discovered, their roles were uncovered, and additionally, he gives an insight into the people and the stories behind the science.