Felix Zajitschek

Felix Zajitschek

Postdoctoral Scientist
Address: 800 22nd Street, 6003
Washington, District Of Columbia
United States
My research interests are in the field of evolutionary ecology, especially in ageing and senescence, life-history trade-offs, why these trade-offs might be different between the sexes, and what this means for the evolution of optimal strategies within the sexes. By combining sexual selection theory with life-history theory I aim to better understand the complex relationship between the outcome of sex-specific forces of sexual and natural selection. I am using experimental approaches to study these questions on the phenotypic and genetic level.
My work with Mollie Manier at GWU centres around two topics.
First, I study sexual conflict through antagonistic alleles for male sperm lengths and female reproductive tract morphology, using D. melanogaster artificial selection lines, selected for short and long sperm cells, and for short and long seminal receptacles, the primary sperm storage organ in female fruit flies.
Second, I work on transgenerational epigenetic effects of diet and age on postcopulatory sexual selection. These studies will involve extensive profiling of gene expression through RNA-seq and finding the proximate genetic mechanism responsible for this epigenetic system of inheritance.
Information on my previous projects and ongoing involvements can be found on my website: felix.zajitschek.net


19. Zajitschek, F., Jin, T., Colchero, F., A. Maklakov (2014). Aging differently: diet- and sex-dependent late-life mortality patterns in Drosophila melanogaster. Journals of Gerontology: Biological Sciences 69(6): 666-674.
18. Zajitschek, S.R.K., Hotzy, C., Zajitschek, F., S. Immler (2014). Short term variation in sperm competition causes sperm mediated epigenetic effects on early offspring performance in the zebrafish. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 281 (1785).
17. Chen, H., Zajitschek, F., A. Maklakov (2013). Why ageing stops: heterogeneity explains late-life mortality deceleration in nematodes. Biology Letters 9(5).
16. Zajitschek, S.R.K., Zajitschek, F., J. Clobert (2012). The importance of habitat resistance for movement decisions in the common lizard, Lacerta vivipara. BMC Ecology 12: 13.
15. Zajitschek, F., Zajitschek, S.R.K., Friberg, U., A. Maklakov (2012). Interactive effects of sex, social environment, dietary restriction and methionine on survival and reproduction in fruit flies. Age 35(4): 1193-1204.
14. Legrand, D., Guillaume, O., Baguette, M., Cote, J., Trochez, A., Calvez, O., Zajitschek, S.R.K., Zajitschek, F., Lecomte, J., Bénard, Q., Le Gaillard, J.F., J. Clobert (2012). The Metatron: an experimental system to study dispersal and metaecosystem dynamics for terrestrial vertebrates. Nature Methods 9: 828-833.
13. Zajitschek, F., Lailvaux, S., Dessmann, J., R. Brooks (2012). Diet, sex and death in field crickets. Ecology & Evolution 2(7): 1627-1636.
12. Zajitschek, S.R.K., Zajitschek, F., Miles, D., J. Clobert (2012). The effect of coloration and temperature on sprint performance in male and female wall lizards. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 107(3): 573-582.
11. Archer, C., Zajitschek, F., Sakaluk, S., Royle, N., J. Hunt (2012). Sexual selection affects the evolution of lifespan and ageing in the decorated cricket Gryllodes sigillatus. Evolution 66(10): 3088-3100.
10. Lailvaux, S., Zajitschek, F., Dessmann, J., R. Brooks (2011). Differential aging of biting and jumping performance in virgin and mated Teleogryllus commodus crickets. Evolution 65 (11): 3138-31478.
9. Zajitschek, S.R.K., Zajitschek, F., R. Brooks (2009). Demographic costs of inbreeding revealed by sex-specific genetic rescue effects. BMC Evolutionary Biology 209 (9): 289-297.
8. Zajitschek, F., Brassil, C., Bonduriansky, R., R. Brooks (2009). Sex-effects on lifespan and senescence in the wild when dates of birth and death are unknown. Ecology 90 (6): 1698-1707. 
7. Maklakov, A., Hall, M., Simpson, S., Dessmann, J., Clissold, F., Zajitschek, F., Raubenheimer, D., Bonduriansky, R., R. Brooks (2009). Sex differences in nutrient-dependent reproductive ageing. Aging Cell 8 (3): 324-330.
6. Zajitschek, F., Bonduriansky, R., Zajitschek, S.R.K., R. Brooks (2009). Sexual dimorphism in life history: age, survival, and reproduction in male and female field crickets Teleogryllus commodus under seminatural conditions. American Naturalist 173 (6): 792-802.
5. Zajitschek, F., Hunt, J., Jennions, M., R. Brooks (2009). Effects of juvenile and adult diet on ageing and reproductive effort of male and female Black Field Crickets Teleogryllus commodusFunctional Ecology 23: 602-611.
4. Maklakov, A., Simpson, S., Zajitschek, F., Hall, M., Dessmann, J., Clissold, F., Raubenheimer, D., Bonduriansky, R., R. Brooks (2008). Sex-specific fitness effects of nutrient intake on reproduction and lifespan. Current Biology 18: 1062-1066.
3. Bonduriansky, R., Maklakov, A., Zajitschek, F., R. Brooks (2008). Sexual selection, sexual conflict and the evolution of ageing and life span. Functional Ecology 22 (3): 443-453.
2. Hunt, J., Blows, M., Zajitschek, F., Jennions, M., R. Brooks (2007). Reconciling strong stabilizing selection with the maintenance of genetic variation in a natural population of Black Field Crickets (Teleogryllus commodus). Genetics 177 (2): 875-880.
1. Zajitschek, F., Hunt, J., Zajitschek, S.R.K., Jennions, M., R. Brooks (2007). No intra-locus sexual conflict over reproductive fitness or ageing in field crickets. PLOS ONE 2(1): e155.


Classes Taught

Animal Behavior (Summer session 2015)