Recent changes in next-generation sequencing have transformed the research horizon in evolutionary biology and genetics. This is particularly true in studies of sexual selection, which seek to understand how competition for mates can influence the evolution of elaborate male traits and female preferences, and more broadly, drives the evolution of major phenotypic differences between males and females. The answers to questions that have been major foci since Darwin’s work, such as the relative forces of natural versus sexual selection, the tempo and mode of phenotypic change, and the mechanisms by which one genome can encode radically different male and female phenotypes, are now within our grasp. There is enormous interest in integrating these approaches to long-standing phenotypic questions. However, these new technologies bring with them many new questions, and have in many ways created a gulf between molecular genomic and phenotypic approaches to sexual selection.
Our purpose with this workshop is to bring both molecular genomic and phenotypic perspectives to the table in order to define common research agendas, identify appropriate systems for analysis, and outline viable techniques and strategies to resolve these issues and fully bring studies of sexual selection into the genomic era.