The nominating institute Geomar on the breakthrough:
The independent evolution of pregnancy in most vertebrate groups required drastic morphological and genomic reorganisation. Roth’s project focuses on adaptation in male pregnancy evolution in pipefishes and seahorses, evolving on a gradient from external fertilisation to full pregnancy. Only this genus allows the role of egg production and pregnancy to be disentangled. Experiments, comparative genomics and genetic engineering will elucidate the basis of trait loss and gain required for male pregnancy.