Simon Eckerström Liedholm

Simon Eckerström Liedholm


Visa sidan på svenska
Works at Department of Zoology
Telephone 08-16 40 41
Visiting address Svante Arrheniusväg 18 B
Room D 523
Postal address Zoologiska institutionen: Etologi 106 91 Stockholm

About me

I am an evolutionary biologist interested in life history evolution, brain size evolution and behavioural ecology.

I am currently working on exploring the association between life history and other traits, such as brain size, risk-taking behaviour and metabolism. We use killifish (Suborder: Aplocheiloidei) as a model system to test various hypotheses on an among species scale. Killifish are small (~ 5 cm in length) freshwater fish distributed mainly throughout Africa and South America. Some groups of killifish species have independently adapted to ephemeral habitats, through significantly shortened lifespans and increased fecundity, and we use this large contrast in life history to test for differences in other traits related to this life history divergence.


A selection from Stockholm University publication database
  • 2017. Simon Eckerström-Liedholm (et al.). Evolution 71 (7), 1900-1910

    Initial offspring size is a fundamental component of absolute growth rate, where large offspring will reach a given adult body size faster than smaller offspring. Yet, our knowledge regarding the coevolution between offspring and adult size is limited. In time-constrained environments, organisms need to reproduce at a high rate and reach a reproductive size quickly. To rapidly attain a large adult body size, we hypothesize that, in seasonal habitats, large species are bound to having a large initial size, and consequently, the evolution of egg size will be tightly matched to that of body size, compared to less time-limited systems. We tested this hypothesis in killifishes, and found a significantly steeper allometric relationship between egg and body sizes in annual, compared to nonannual species. We also found higher rates of evolution of egg and body size in annual compared to nonannual species. Our results suggest that time-constrained environments impose strong selection on rapidly reaching a species-specific body size, and reproduce at a high rate, which in turn imposes constraints on the evolution of egg sizes. In combination, these distinct selection pressures result in different relationships between egg and body size among species in time-constrained versus permanent habitats.

  • 2015. Alberto Corral-Lopez (et al.). Current Zoology 61 (2), 265-273

    Animal behavior is remarkably variable at all taxonomic levels. Over the last decades, research on animal behavior has focused on understanding ultimate processes. Yet, it has progressively become more evident that to fully understand behavioral variation, ultimate explanations need to be complemented with proximate ones. In particular, the mechanisms generating variation in sexual behavior remain an open question. Variation in aspects of brain morphology has been suggested as a plausible mechanism underlying this variation. However, our knowledge of this potential association is based almost exclusively on comparative analyses. Experimental studies are needed to establish causality and bridge the gap between micro-and macroevolutionary mechanisms concerning the link between brain and sexual behavior. We used male guppies that had been artificially selected for large or small relative brain size to study this association. We paired males with females and scored the full known set of male and female sexual behaviors described in guppies. We found several previously demonstrated associations between male traits, male behavior and female behavior. Females responded more strongly towards males that courted more and males with more orange coloration. Also, larger males and males with less conspicuous coloration attempted more coerced copulations. However, courting, frequency of coerced copulation attempts, total intensity of sexual behavior, and female response did not differ between large-and small-brained males. Our data suggest that relative brain size is an unlikely mechanism underlying variation in sexual behavior of the male guppy. We discuss these findings in the context of the conditions under which relative brain size might affect male sexual behavior

Show all publications by Simon Eckerström Liedholm at Stockholm University

Last updated: November 8, 2018

Bookmark and share Tell a friend