University of Minnesota
Evolutionary biologist; Educator
Marlene Zuk solved a major question about why and how sexual selection is a continuous evolutionary process: ornaments like peacock tails reflect disease resistance, which is continually being challenged by mutating diseases. She discovered an example of sexual signal loss in wild crickets and provided theoretical grounds for how and when ornamentation is selected against. She has written several books for the lay public on evolution, the diversity of animal sexual practices, and how people understand the action of evolution in their lives.