Project 14
An experimental test of plasticity-led evolution

Led by Susan Foster, John Baker, John Gibbons, William Cresko, Kevin Laland, Juha Merilä & Matthew Wund


three spine stickleback


This project aims to understand whether high levels of ancestral plasticity are associated with accelerated evolutionary rates of genetic divergence in three-spine sticklebacks, Gasterosteus aculeatus. We are investigating whether standing genetic variation (the traditional expectation), or ancestral patterns of plasticity (the EES expectation) best account for evolutionary change in salt- and freshwater populations.



Replicated evolutionary inhibition of a complex ancestral behaviour in an adaptive radiation.
[download PDF]
Foster SA, O’Neil S, King RW, Baker JA. 2019. Biol Lett DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2018.0647


Blog posts

Sticklebacks, selection shadows, and salinity shifts: phenotypic plasticity in novel environments
Spence-Jones HC. 1 May 2017.


EES predictions this project tests

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