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Evolutionary Architecture of Reproduction in Female Mammals

News & Media

March 2011

Media. Our paper on the evolutionary development of mammalian brain size has been reported in:

  • Science Daily: Mothers' Hard Work Pays Off With Big Brains for Their Babies
  • The Telegraph: Breastfeeding is linked to the size of the brain
  • Daily Mail: Breast feeding for longer 'could help babies develop bigger brains'
  • Planet Earth: Big brains linked to longer lives
  • Science Codex: Mothers' hard work pays off with big brains for their babies
  • Medical News Today: Brain Growth Linked To Duration Of Pregnancy And How Long Babies Suckle
  • BBC NI: 'Breastfeeding may lead to bigger brains in mammals'
  • eScienceNews: Mothers' hard work pays off with big brains for their babies
  • MedicalNet: Brain growth in babies linked to amount of time and energy mothers 'invest'
  • BiomedME
  • HealthCanal: Mothers’ hard work pays off with big brains for their babies
  • Independent.ie: Breastfeeding is linked to the size of the brain
  • ExpressIndia
  • MedIndia: Brain Growth in Infants Linked to Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Duration
  • DeccanHerald: Mothers' hard work linked to better brain growth in babies
  • BelfastTelegraph: Breast still best, says new study
  • Journallive: Research suggests breastfeeding develops bigger brains
  • Doctissimo
  • Childup: Breast Still Best, Says New Study
  • BioCompare
  • Behavioural Medicine Report: Children’s Brain Weight Linked To The Amount Of Time And Energy That Mothers ‘Invest’

On the Radio, this story has been reported in BBC NI, Citybeat and Cool FM/Downtown

Here you can find the press release of Durham University and BBSRC.

Publications. Our paper on brain growth and maternal investment is in press in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Barton R. A. & Capellini I. 2011. Maternal investment, life histories and the costs of brain growth in mammals. PNAS, in press.


31 December 2010

Our grant officially ends, but do keep an eye on the website for publications arising from the project.


November 2010

Media. Our paper, 'Placentation and maternal investment in mammals' is available online as a preprint in American Naturalist.

Capellini I., Venditti C. & Barton R. A. 2010. Placentation and maternal investment in mammals.American Naturalist, in press.

Here you can find the press releases of this paper in theDurham University, BBSRC and NERC.

This story has been reported in:

  • BBC News: Placenta 'has key role' in determining pregnancy length
  • New York Times: Placenta Structure and Gestation Linked
  • Science Daily: Length of Pregnancy Influenced by Placenta Structure
  • Planet Earth Online: Placenta structure determines length of pregnancy
  • ScienceMagazine
  • eBioNews: Length of pregnancy influenced by placenta structure
  • msn news
  • International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics: Placenta 'determines length of pregnancy
  • Medical Daily: Placenta holds key to gestation period
  • NewsGuide.us
  • Daily India: 'Placenta key to pregnancy length' discovery ends 100-year mystery
  • Science Centric: Length of pregnancy influenced by placenta structure
  • Thaindian News: ‘Placenta key to pregnancy length’ discovery ends 100-year mystery
  • IndiaTimes, Yahoo!, Yahoo! Italia, Yahoo! India
  • The Health Age: Placenta plays vital role in determining pregnancy span
  • Newsgab: Placenta key to pregnancy length
  • Rocketnews: Placenta key to pregnancy length
  • Scientias: Eenvoudige placenta veroorzaakt lange zwangerschap
  • Disarranged reality, Asca, Virgilio, QNA, Health Grades, and FlashNewsToday
  • Perspicacious: Placenta key to pregnancy length
  • The Naked Scientists: Plugging into the placenta
  • Sify News: 'Placenta key to pregnancy length' discovery ends 100-year mystery
  • TopNews.in: ''Placenta key to pregnancy length'' discovery ends 100-year mystery
  • Eurekalert: Length of pregnancy influenced by placenta structure
  • Siglo XXI: El tiempo de gestación depende de la estructura de la placenta
  • LaVozLibre: El tiempo de gestación depende de la estructura de la placenta
  • Healthcare Today: Placenta 'key' in gestation period
  • UKIndian.net: Placenta key to pregnancy length
  • WebIndia: 'Placenta key to pregnancy length' discovery ends 100-year mystery
  • Made for Mums: Why nine months? The answer’s in your placenta
  • Ethiopian Review: Placenta key in determining pregnancy length -Study
  • MedCompare: Length Of Pregnancy Influenced By Placenta Structure
  • MedlinePlus, HealthFinder, OneNewsPage, Science Technology News and SanitaNews
  • MolecularStation: Length of pregnancy influenced by placenta structure
  • MachesterWeird: Placenta 'has key role' in determining pregnancy length
  • GlasgowWeird: Placenta 'has key role' in determining pregnancy length
  • Health.com: Gestational Period Depends on Structure of Placenta: Research
  • Media Newswire: Length of pregnancy influenced by placenta structure
  • Lab Spaces: Placenta structure determines length of pregnancy
  • Laboratory Equipment: Placenta Determines Pregnancy Length
On the radio, it has been reported in BBC Radio 4, BBC World Service (World Briefing) and BBC Radio Tees. Finally, it has appeared in Nature (News, 468: 603; 2 December 2010)

September 2010

Conferences. Rob has presented our results on 'Placentation, foetal growth and sexual conflict' at the conference 'New direction in sexual selection research: unifying behavioural and genomic approaches', at the University of Bath, Bath (U. K.).


August 2010

Conferences. Our proposal for a symposium on the evolution of the placenta has been accepted at the 13th meeting of the European Society for Evolutionary Biology (ESEB).

Symposium n. 16: 'Viviparity, placentation and conflict', ESEB 2011 meeting, 20-25th August, Tuebingen (Germany)

Publications. Our paper, in collaboration with Chris Venditti, on the evolution of placental morphological variation has been accepted for publication in The American Naturalist.

Capellini I., Venditti C. & Barton R. A. Placentation and maternal investment in mammals.The American Naturalist, accepted.

Publications. Our paper, in collaboration with Steve Montgomery, Nick Mundy and Chris Venditti, on the correlated evolution of neonatal brain size and microcephaly genes has been accepted for publication in Molecular Biology and Evolution.

Montgomery S. H., Capellini I., Venditti C., Barton R. A. & Mundy N. I. Adaptive evolution of four microcephaly genes and the evolution of brain size in anthropoid primates. Molecular Biology and Evolution, accepted.


June 2010

Conferences. Isabella has presented our results on 'Phylogeny and metabolic scaling in mammals' with a talk at the Evolution 2010 meeting in Portland (Oregon, USA).

Workshops. Rob has attended the 'AnthroTree workshop' on phylogenetic comparative methods.


April 2010

Media. Our paper, 'Phylogeny and metabolic scaling in mammals' has been reported in Craig White's commentary on metabolic scaling in Nature News and Views (April 2010, 464: 691-692). The paper is online as a preprint in Ecology.

Capellini I., Venditti C. & Barton R. A. 2010. Phylogeny and metabolic scaling in mammals.Ecology, in press.


February 2010

Invited seminars. Isabella has given a seminar in the Department of Psychology, Lincoln University (Lincoln, U. K.) on: 'Maternal investment and the evolutionary development of brain size in mammals'.


January 2010

Media. Our paper on brain size evolution in Primates is available online in BMC Biology.

Montgomery S. H., Capellini I., Barton R. A. & Mundy N. I. 2010. Reconstructing the ups and downs of primate brain evolution: implications for adaptive hypotheses and Homo floresiensis. BMC Biology 8, 9. [pdf]

This story has been reported in:

  • Scientific American: What the small-brained hobbit reveals about primate evolution
  • Life Science News: Is the Hobbit's brain unfeasibly small?
  • Terra Daily: Scientists study the Hobbit's brain
  • Science Daily: Is the Hobbit's Brain Unfeasibly Small?
  • InSciences: Does Evolution Always Lead To Bigger Brains?
  • UPI: Scientists study the Hobbit's brain
  • Weird Science: Evolution Shrank Some Primates’ Brains
  • Anthropology.Net: Reduced Brain Size of Homo floresiensis Hints at Her Likely Ancestors
  • One India: The Hobbit's small brain was not unusual in comparison to other primates
  • Yorkshire Evening Post: Bigger the brain not always the better
  • The Scotsman: Why Neanderthal man was far less tough than we were led to believe
  • News Guide US

December 2009

Publications. 21st of December, Christmas present: our paper, in collaboration with Chris Venditti, on the allometry of mammalian metabolic rates has been accepted for publication in Ecology.

Capellini I., Venditti C. & Barton R. A. 2010. Phylogeny and metabolic scaling in mammals. Ecology, accepted.

Publications. Our paper, in collaboration with Stephen Montgomery and Nick Mundy, on brain size evolution in Primates has been accepted for publication in BMC Biology.

Montgomery S. H., Capellini I., Barton R. A. & Mundy N. I. 2010. Reconstructing the ups and downs of primate brain evolution: implications for adaptive hypotheses and Homo floresiensis. BMC Biology, accepted.


November 2009

Invited seminars. Isabella has given a seminar in the Department of Zoology, Cambridge University (Cambridge, U.K.) on: 'Comparative analysis of the evolutionary development of brain size in mammals'.

Workshops. Isabella has attended a 2-days workshop on 'Communicating science to the public' organised by NERC in Swindon (U.K.).


July 2009

Workshops. Isabella has attended a training workshop on 'Bayesian data analysis for ecologists' in Cogne (Italy).


June 2009

Conferences. Isabella has presented our first results on 'Maternal investment strategies from birth to weaning in placental mammals' with a talk at the Evolution 2009 meeting in Moscow (Idaho, USA).


May 2009

Invited seminars. Isabella has given a seminar at the Centre for Behaviour and Evolution, Newcastle University (Newcastle upon Tyne, U.K.) on: 'Placentation, prenatal maternal investment and neonatal encephalization in placental mammals'.


March 2009

Conferences. Isabella has presented our results on 'Placentation and prenatal maternal investment in eutherian mammals' with a talk at the 'Evolution 150' workshop in Cuenca (Spain).


January 2009

Conferences. Isabella has been accepted as a participant to the workshop Evolutionary Biology: Evolution 150, co-organized by the British Council and Spanish Research Council, and been awarded a travel grant (£250).


June 2008

Conferences. Isabella has given a talk at the Evolution 2008 meeting in Minneapolis (Minnesota, USA) on our first results on: 'Placentation, maternal investment and neonatal brain size in mammals'.


January 2008

Start of the project!