Research Professor: Behavioral Ecology
Research interests: I am interested in the behavioral ecology of insect reproduction, specifically the evolution of parental care, communal breeding, and male mating behavior. My work has addressed various aspects of male reproductive tactics and sperm competition in burying beetles (Coleoptera: Silphidae: Nicrophorus) and in two orthopteran species. My studies on burying beetles also deal with issues in the context of parental care, such as parent-offspring recognition, cost and benefit of parental care, as well as competition and cooperation between conspecific females on carcasses. In cooperation with Professor Josef Müller in Freiburg, Germany, I am currently investigating problems related to the evolution of communal breeding on large carcasses.
Eggert, A.-K. in press. Cooperative breeding in insects and vertebrates. In: Oxford Bibliographies in Evolutionary Biology (Ed. J. Losos). New York: Oxford University Press.
Steiger, S., Gershman, S.N., Pettinger, A.M., Eggert, A.-K. and S.K. Sakaluk. 2012. Dominance status and sex influence nutritional state and immunity in burying beetles Nicrophorus orbicollis. Behavioral Ecology 23: 1126-1132.
Eggert, A.-K. and J.K. Müller. 2011. Timing of oviposition enables dominant female burying beetles to destroy brood parasitic young. Animal Behaviour 82: 1227-1233.
Steiger, S., Gershman, S.N., Pettinger, A.M., Eggert, A.-K. and S.K. Sakaluk. 2011. Sex differences in immunity and rapid upregulation of immune defence during parental care in the burying beetle, Nicrophorus orbicollis. Functional Ecology 25: 1368-1378.
Pettinger, A.M., Steiger, S.,
Müller, J.K., Sakaluk, S.K. and A.K. Eggert. 2011. Dominance status and carcass
availability affect the outcome of sperm competition in burying beetles.
Behavioral Ecology 22: 1079-1087.
Müller, J.K. and A.-K. Eggert. 2010. Fortpflanzungsverhalten. In: Lehrbuch der Entomologie. Teil 1 (K. Dettner, W. Peters, eds.). Spektrum Academischer Verlag, Heidelberg. pp. 437-463.
Sakaluk, S.K. and A.-K. Eggert. 2009. Coping with the cold: temperature and mating activity of sagebrush crickets, Cyphoderris strepitans. Physiological Entomology 34:251-255.
Eggert, A.-K., Otte, T. and J.K. Müller. 2008. Starving the competition: a proximate cause of reproductive skew in burying beetles (Nicrophorus vespilloides). Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B. 275: 2521-2528.
Steiger, S., Franz, R.,
Eggert, A.-K. and J.K. Müller, J.K. 2008.The Coolidge effect, individual
recognition and selection for distinctive cuticular signatures in a burying
beetle. Proceedings of the Royal Society of
Steiger, S., Richter, K., Müller, J.K. and A.-K. Eggert. 2007. Maternal nutritional condition and genetic differentiation affect brood size and offspring body size in Nicrophorus. Zoology 110: 360-368.
Müller, J.K., Braunisch, V., Hwang, W.B. and A.-K. Eggert. 2007. Alternative tactics and individual reproductive success in natural associations of the burying beetle, Nicrophorus vespilloides. Behavioral Ecology 18:196-203. PDF reprint
Müller, J.K., Eggert, A.-K. and T. Elsner. 2003. Nestmate recognition in burying beetles: the ‘breeder’s badge’ as a cue used by females to distinguish their mates from male intruders. Behavioral Ecology 14: 212-220. PDF reprint
Eggert, A.-K., Reinhardt, K. and S.K. Sakaluk. 2003. Linear models for assessing mechanisms of sperm competition: the trouble with transformations. Evolution 57: 173-176. PDF reprint
Sakaluk, S.K., Schaus, J.M., Eggert, A.-K., Snedden, W.A. and P.L. Brady. 2002. Polyandry and fitness of offspring reared under varying nutritional stress in decorated crickets. Evolution 56: 1999-2007. PDF reprint
Eggert, A.-K. and S.K. Sakaluk. 2000. Benefits of communal breeding in burying beetles: a field experiment. Ecological Entomology 25: 262-266. PDF reprint
Eggert, A.-K., and J.K. Müller. 2000. Timing of oviposition and reproductive skew in cobreeding burying beetles (Nicrophorus vespilloides). Behavioral Ecology 11: 357-366. PDF reprint
Eggert, A.-K., and J.K. Müller. 1999. Fortpflanzungsverhalten. In: Lehrbuch der Allgemeinen und Angewandten Entomologie (Textbook of General and Applied Entomology; W. Peters, K. Dettner, eds.). Gustav Fischer Verlag, Stuttgart.
Eggert, A.-K., Reinking, M. and J.K. Müller. 1998. Parental care improves offspring survival and growth in burying beetles. Animal Behaviour 55: 97-107. PDF reprint
Sakaluk, S.K., Eggert, A.-K., and J.K. Müller. 1998. The 'widow effect' and its consequences for reproduction in burying beetles, Nicrophorus vespilloides (Coleoptera: Siphidae). Ethology 104: 553-564.
Müller, J.K., Eggert, A.-K., and S.K. Sakaluk. 1998. Carcass maintenance and biparental brood care in burying beetles: are males redundant? Ecological Entomology 23: 195-200.
Eggert, A.-K., and J.K. Müller. 1997. Biparental care and social evolution in burying beetles: lessons from the larder. In: The Evolution of Social Behavior in Insects and Arachnids (J. Choe, B. Crespi, eds.). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. pp. 219-236.
Sakaluk, S.K., and A.-K. Eggert. 1996. Female control of sperm transfer and intraspecific variation in sperm precedence: antecedents to the evolution of a courtship food gift. Evolution 50: 694-703. PDF reprint
Eggert, A.-K., and S.K. Sakaluk. 1995. Female-coerced monogamy in burying beetles. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 37: 147-153.
Sakaluk, S.K., Snedden, W.A., Jacobson, K.A., and A.-K. Eggert. 1995. Sexual competition in sagebrush crickets: must males hear calling rivals? Behavioral Ecology 6: 250-257.
Sakaluk, S.K., Bangert, P.J., Eggert, A.-K., Gack, C. and L.V. Swanson. 1995. The gin trap as a device facilitating coercive mating in sagebrush crickets. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B, Biological Sciences 261: 65-71.
Eggert, A.-K., and S.K. Sakaluk. 1994. Fluctuating asymmetry and variation in the size of courtship food gifts in decorated crickets. The American Naturalist 144: 708-716. PDF reprint
Eggert, A.-K., and S.K. Sakaluk. 1994. Sexual cannibalism and its relation to male mating success in sagebrush crickets, Cyphoderris strepitans (Haglidae: Orthoptera). Animal Behaviour 47: 1171-1177. PDF reprint
Eggert, A.-K. 1992. Alternative male mate-finding tactics in burying beetles. Behavioral Ecology 3: 243-254.
Eggert, A.-K., and J.K. Müller. 1992. Joint breeding in female burying beetles. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 31: 237-242.
Müller, J.K., and A.K. Eggert. 1990. Time-dependent shifts between infanticidal and parental behavior in female burying beetles: A mechanism of indirect mother-offspring recognition. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 27: 11-16.