MRE Symonds, MA Elgar (2008) The evolution of pheromone diversity. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 23: 220-228.

What’s it about?

A review of how we can use information on phylogenetic relationships to determine how diversity in pheromone composition across species has arisen: how do pheromones evolve, and what ecological and genetic mechanisms help explain pheromone evolution.

What’s the story behind it?

A return to my work on pheromone evolution. It came about following a presentation at the International Society for Behavioural Ecology conference in Tours in France in 2006 (actually a very productive conference). I met up with an old friend, who happened to be deputy editor of TREE at the time, and over a nice dinner in a very French bistro tried pitching the idea of a paper on pheromone evolution. She was a little uncertain, but fortunately, her editor boss agreed the idea might have links. And so ensued about 18 months of intensely hard slog on a review that went through a lot of revision. You always think that reviews are going to be easier. They’re not. They’re a nightmare.

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