S P Otto


Affiliation: University of British Columbia
Country: Canada


  1. Otto S, Gerstein A. Why have sex? The population genetics of sex and recombination. Biochem Soc Trans. 2006;34:519-22 pubmed
    ..Here, we review various hypotheses for why sex and recombination are so prevalent and discuss theoretical results indicating which of these hypotheses is most promising. ..
  2. Otto S. Adaptation, speciation and extinction in the Anthropocene. Proc Biol Sci. 2018;285: pubmed publisher
    ..Humans are also shaping selection pressures at the species level, and I discuss how species traits are affecting both extinction and speciation rates in the Anthropocene. ..
  3. Otto S. The advantages of segregation and the evolution of sex. Genetics. 2003;164:1099-118 pubmed
  4. Otto S, Nuismer S. Species interactions and the evolution of sex. Science. 2004;304:1018-20 pubmed
    ..Our results show that species interactions typically select against sex. We conclude that, although the Red Queen favors sex under certain circumstances, it alone does not account for the ubiquity of sex. ..
  5. Hardy N, Otto S. Specialization and generalization in the diversification of phytophagous insects: tests of the musical chairs and oscillation hypotheses. Proc Biol Sci. 2014;281: pubmed publisher
    ..These results suggest that the costs of trophic generalism in plant-feeding insects may have been overvalued and that transitions from generalists to ecological specialists may not be an important driver of speciation in general. ..
  6. Otto S. Unravelling the evolutionary advantage of sex: a commentary on 'Mutation-selection balance and the evolutionary advantage of sex and recombination' by Brian Charlesworth. Genet Res. 2007;89:447-9 pubmed publisher
  7. Otto S, Gerstein A. The evolution of haploidy and diploidy. Curr Biol. 2008;18:R1121-4 pubmed publisher
  8. Osmond M, Otto S. Fitness-valley crossing with generalized parent-offspring transmission. Theor Popul Biol. 2015;105:1-16 pubmed publisher
    ..While peak shifts are unlikely under many of the common assumptions of population genetic theory, relaxing some of these assumptions can promote fitness-valley crossing. ..
  9. Otto S, Scott M, Immler S. Evolution of haploid selection in predominantly diploid organisms. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015;112:15952-7 pubmed publisher
    ..We discuss the implications of this maternal-paternal conflict over the extent of haploid selection and describe empirical studies needed to refine our understanding of haploid selection among seemingly diploid organisms. ..

More Information


  1. Sharp N, Otto S. Evolution: Zeroing In on the Rate of Genome Doubling. Curr Biol. 2018;28:R320-R322 pubmed publisher
    ..New experiments with budding yeast shed light on how frequently spontaneous genome doubling occurs within populations and the environmental conditions that favour cells with doubled genomes. ..
  2. Gerstein A, Ono J, Lo D, Campbell M, Kuzmin A, Otto S. Too much of a good thing: the unique and repeated paths toward copper adaptation. Genetics. 2015;199:555-71 pubmed publisher
    ..Our study thus finds that evolution takes both common and less trodden pathways toward evolving tolerance to an essential, but highly toxic, micronutrient. ..
  3. Otto S. The evolutionary enigma of sex. Am Nat. 2009;174 Suppl 1:S1-S14 pubmed publisher
    ..These recent efforts have clarified the conditions that are most likely to explain why sex is so common, as exemplified by the articles in this symposium issue of the American Naturalist. ..
  4. Débarre F, Otto S. Evolutionary dynamics of a quantitative trait in a finite asexual population. Theor Popul Biol. 2016;108:75-88 pubmed publisher
    ..Our study provides a clearer picture of the ecological conditions that facilitate the appearance and persistence of novel evolutionary lineages in the face of genetic drift. ..
  5. MacPherson A, Otto S. Joint coevolutionary-epidemiological models dampen Red Queen cycles and alter conditions for epidemics. Theor Popul Biol. 2018;122:137-148 pubmed publisher
    ..Incorporating both explicit epidemiology and genetic diversity may have important implications for the maintenance of sexual reproduction as well as disease management. ..
  6. Van Den Elzen C, Kleynhans E, Otto S. Asymmetric competition impacts evolutionary rescue in a changing environment. Proc Biol Sci. 2017;284: pubmed publisher