MSCA IF Fellow: Merel C. Breedveld

PDFProject:  HeatWaveSS - Intra and inter-generational effects of heatwaves on sexually selected traits and reproductive success

Merel C. Breedveld


MSCA Fellow: Merel C. Breedveld

UNIPD Supervisor: Clelia Gasparini

Department: Biology

Total Contribution: Euro 183.473,28

Project Duration in months: 24

Start Date: 01/12/2021
End Date: 30/11/2023


Merel C. Breedveld is from the Netherlands, where she obtained her MSc in Animal Biology from the University of Utrecht. She moved to Spain where she was a PhD fellow at the National Museum of Natural Sciences in Madrid, while carrying out most of her fieldwork at the Pyrenean Institute of Ecology in the Spanish Pyrenees. Her research covers the fields of behavioural ecology, reproductive biology and evolutionary biology, and her main interests include reproductive strategies and sexual selection. She is especially interested in whether and how animals adjust reproductive strategies in response to changes in their external environment, in the consequences of environmental change on reproductive success, and in whether behavioural adjustments have the potential to mediate negative consequences. During her PhD she studied how lizards respond to variation in the seasonal timing of mate encounter on agents of sexual selection. After obtaining her PhD she moved to Germany for a postdoc position at the University of Potsdam, where she investigated how rodent mothers respond to the threat of an infanticidal male in their surroundings. During her MSCA fellowship at the department of Biology under supervision of Dr. Clelia Gasparini, Merel will be carrying out her HeatWaveSS project, investigating the effects of heatwaves on fertility, sexual selection, and transgenerational fitness using the guppy (Poecilia reticulata) as a model system. By investigating the effects of heatwaves at different levels, she hopes to offer insights into their effects on individuals and populations, thereby contributing to our understanding of the consequences of climate change and the processes underlying responses to environmental changes.