Ancient Asexual Scandals
In our lab, we focus on animals that persisted in the absence of sex for millions of years. Normally, asexual lineages are thought to be driven to extinction because of ineffective selection. However, many species of asexual oribatid mites are able to adapt, diversify and get rid of harmful mutations. They are evolutionary scandals, because they escape their fate of extinction.
Such incidences of ancient asexuals are important to study, because identifying the singularities that allow for their evolutionary persistence through time will help vice versa to identify the benefits of sex.
“All you really need to know for the moment is that the universe is a lot more complicated than you might think, even if you start from a position of thinking it’s pretty damn complicated in the first place." — Douglas Noel Adams