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The Australian National University

Kokko Lab - Evolutionary ecology

Teaching | Research | Research opportunities | Lab members | Lab awards | Publications | Grants | Links

Professor Hanna Kokko

Building 44,
Research School of Biology,
The Australian National University,
Acton, ACT 0200
T: 61256931


I completed my PhD at Helsinki University in 1997. It took me a few years longer to discover that Australia has nice birds, good collaborators and excellent coffee - my first visit was in 2001 and since then I have never had a year when I wouldn't have at least visited the ANU. In 2009, I started a year-long sabbatical here, and I used some of the time to write an application that made me an Australian Laureate Fellow in 2010. So it looks like I'll be here for quite a bit longer now. For more info click here.


Being awarded an Australian Fellowship means that I am expected to devote much of my time to research - however I am always keen to hear from students who are willing to explore the interaction between mathematics and biology. I have published a book  to help people with their first (and perhaps second) steps in this fun interdisciplinary field.

Research interests

I am primarily a theoretician, but one who loves the outdoors. In combination it is a good life: one can visit a field site once someone else (a student, or a collaborator) has already dealt with all the boring logistics, knows the most enjoyable things to do, and has already some exciting data points to show. I call this professional parasitism, but at least some of my collaborators claim to categorize it as mutualism. I hope it's true. As a consequence, some people in my lab have been empiricists who'd like to learn how to build mathematical models of evolutionary processes, others are on the theoretical side themselves, others still are more into ecology than evolution, and so on. What is nice is that they all talk to each other - I believe the fancy word for that is synergy.

Current projects

Biological adaptation under natural and anthropogenic conditions

Combining mathematical and empirical work to understand what (if anything) is optimized by evolution across various levels of biological organization.        Show more detail...
Subprojects already initiated (with list of collaborators)

Student research opportunities

Eco-evolutionary feedbacks

Investigating the rules of the "evolutionary play in the ecological theatre"        Show more detail...

Lab members

  • Anna Harts (PhD student)
  • Jonathan Henshaw (PhD student)
  • Luke Holman (Postdoctoral Scientist)
  • Andrew Kahn (PhD student)
  • Hanna Kokko (Lab Leader)
  • Rob Lanfear (Postdoctoral Scientist)
  • Allison Shaw (Divisional Visitor)

» Go to lab directory

Lab awards and achievements

Per Brinck award - Click to enlarge Per Brinck Oikos award, 2010
Australian Laureate Fellowship, 2010


Selected publications

1. Title: Causality and sex roles: prejudice against patterns? A reply to Ah-King
Author(s): Kokko, Hanna; Booksmythe, Isobel; Jennions, Michael D.
Source: Trends in Ecology & Evolution Volume: 28 Issue: 1 Pages: 2-4 Published: JAN 2013
Times Cited: 1
DOI: 10.1016/j.tree.2012.08.008
2. Title: Identification of 100 fundamental ecological questions
Author(s): Sutherland, William J.; Freckleton, Robert P.; Godfray, H. Charles J.; et al.
Source: Journal of Ecology Volume: 101 Issue: 1 Pages: 58-67 Published: JAN 2013
Times Cited: 24
DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12025
3. Title: Multiple mating by females is a natural outcome of a null model of mate encounters
Author(s): Kokko, Hanna; Mappes, Johanna
Source: Entomologia Experimentalis Et Applicata Volume: 146 Issue: 1 Pages: 26-37 Published: JAN 2013
Times Cited: 1
DOI: 10.1111/j.1570-7458.2012.01296.x
4. Title: Adaptive sex allocation in anticipation of changes in offspring mating opportunities
Author(s): Kahn, Andrew T.; Kokko, Hanna; Jennions, Michael D.
Source: Nature Communications Volume: 4 Published: MAR 2013
Times Cited: 0
DOI: 10.1038/ncomms2634
5. Title: Evolutionary and ecological implications of sexual parasitism
Author(s): Lehtonen, Jussi; Schmidt, Daniel J.; Heubel, Katja; et al.
Source: Trends in Ecology & Evolution Volume: 28 Issue: 5 Pages: 297-306 Published: MAY 2013
Times Cited: 5
DOI: 10.1016/j.tree.2012.12.006
6. Title: Female Fertilization: Effects of Sex-Specific Density and Sex Ratio Determined Experimentally for Colorado Potato Beetles and Drosophila Fruit Flies
Author(s): Vahl, Wouter K.; Boiteau, Gilles; de Heij, Maaike E.; et al.
Source: Plos One Volume: 8 Issue: 4 Published: APR 12 2013
Times Cited: 0
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0060381
7. Title: Identification of five novel tectiviruses in Bacillus strains: analysis of a highly variable region generating genetic diversity
Author(s): Jalasvuori, Matti; Palmu, Saara; Gillis, Annika; et al.
Source: Research in Microbiology Volume: 164 Issue: 2 Pages: 118-126 Published: FEB-MAR 2013
Times Cited: 0
DOI: 10.1016/j.resmic.2012.10.011
Author(s): Booksmythe, Isobel; Schwanz, Lisa E.; Kokko, Hanna
Source: Evolution Volume: 67 Issue: 3 Pages: 673-678 Published: MAR 2013
Times Cited: 1
DOI: 10.1111/evo.12003
9. Title: The consequences of polyandry for population viability, extinction risk and conservation
Author(s): Holman, Luke; Kokko, Hanna
Source: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences Volume: 368 Issue: 1613 Published: MAR 5 2013
Times Cited: 2
DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2012.0053
10. Title: Optimal web investment in sub-optimal foraging conditions
Author(s): Harmer, Aaron M. T.; Kokko, Hanna; Herberstein, Marie E.; et al.
Source: Naturwissenschaften Volume: 99 Issue: 1 Pages: 65-70 Published: JAN 2012
Times Cited: 1
DOI: 10.1007/s00114-011-0862-4

All publications

Click here to see a full list of publications on the ISI website...

Recent grants

Australian Laureate Fellowship, 2010-2015

Foreign partner in a “Research Community grant” within the Flemish Science Foundation scheme (Research Fund- Flanders, FWO) “Eco-evolutionary dynamics in natural and anthropogenic communities”

Centre of Excellence of Biological Interactions (for J. Mappes, L. Sundström, J. Bamford and H. Kokko, forming a network between Universities of Jyväskylä and Helsinki and the ANU)


A more fun version of what has been said on this page - with a more complete list of publications too.

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Updated:  21 December 2010/Responsible Officer:  Director RSB /Page Contact:  RSB Webmaster