Professor Alison Pischedda


On November 10, 2021, Alison Pischedda, assistant professor of biological sciences, alongside Barnard graduates Chelsea S. Sinclair ’21 and Suriya F. Lisa ’19, published new research in Ecology and Evolution, titled “Does sexual experience affect the strength of male mate choice for high-quality females in Drosophila melanogaster?” Professor Pischedda and her co-authors evaluated whether the sexual experiences of male fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) influence their tendency to pursue larger, higher-fecundity females for mating. 

The study manipulated the sexual experiences of male fruit flies to determine if doing so would strengthen their preference for mating with large females. The researchers found that the intervention did not have a significant effect: The male fruit flies in this study engaged in robust courtships for larger females regardless of how sexually experienced they were and the strength of this preference did not change when males had been rejected by a large or small female.