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Inman, Callen

Callen M Inman

Teaching Assistant I B
Biology Instruction Office

Graduate student in the Cummings Lab interested in sexual conflict and the evolution of cognition in poeciliid fishes

Research Interests:

I'm interested in using comparative and computational approaches to understanding male-female coevolution across Poeciliidae, a family of teleost fish with substantial variation in the degree of sexual conflict across species. Sexual conflict is an inevitable outcome of sexual reproduction, whether there is isogamy with two or more mating types or anisogamy with males and females. In many poeciliids, the two sexes optimize fitness in divergent ways, with large asymmetries in the optimal mating rate, the remating rate, and the time needed to spend foraging between males and females.

Besides differences between the sexes that can be explained by life history and ecology, some behavioral differences may emerge as a consequence of interactions with members of the other sex. Males may find females unreceptive to their mating attempts and so evolve ways to coerce them into mating. Similarly, females may try to evade such mating attempts that not only push them beyond their mating optimum, but may actually injure them.

While sexual selection and sexual conflict often occur in tandem, the evolutionary process of sexual conflict is thought to show more parallels with host-parasite coevolution than with sexual selection-driven coevolution. These coevolutionary arms races may show cycling between the same few male persistence and female resistance traits or the continued emergence of increasingly novel female resistance traits that are countered by male persistence traits.

I'm interested in designing comparisons between species that control for shared phylogenetic history and ecology, while varying the level of sexual conflict. I also hope to also computational tools such as Avida software to study how sexual conflict might generate cognitive and behavioral coevolutionary arms races in populations of digital organisms.


B.A. in Biology, Carleton College (2019)


Inman CM (2020) "Begging," In Springer Encyclopedia of Animal Cognition and Behavior, Eds: Shackelford TD, & Vonk J. 

Inman CM (2020) "Visual recognition of predators and prey,"  In Springer Encyclopedia of Animal Cognition and Behavior, Eds: Shackelford TD, & Vonk J.