Jennions Group - Behavioural and reproductive ecology

Gambusia (Mosquito fish). Photo: Andrew Kahn

We are a happy and extremely productive research group. We place a strong emphasis on creating a friendly working environment. If you thrive best in a winner takes all setting then we are not for you. If, however, you enjoy biology, like working with animals and find evolution fascinating then read on. We value and strive for research excellence. Ultimately scientists are evaluated on what they publish - avoid the hype and just check out our publications. If you are considering Honours, a PhD or Post-doc and want to produce high quality work with a view to pursuing a career in biology then please get in touch.

What do we do? We are interested in whole organism evolutionary biology, especially the evolution of behavioural and morphological reproductive traits. Our main focus is testing sexual selection theory. The kinds of questions we ask are:

  • Is there a trade-off between diets that maximize mating as opposed to fertilization success?
  • How does inbreeding affect sexually selected traits versus other traits?
  • Why do females mate multiply?
  • What affects the offspring sex ratio?
  • Are males more variable than females in their behaviour?
  • Does winning a fight increase your future likelihood of winning another fight?
  • Are older more succesful because they are more sexually experienced?
  • What determines the rate of sperm production? 

We conduct: behavioural ecology experiments, artificial selection studies, and meta-analysis of literature.

We use: immunological assays, diet manipulations, paternity analysis, and sperm assays.

We have conducted research on: fish, crickets, beetles, fiddler crabs, and humans.

Members

Leader

Michael Jennions

Michael Jennions
I grew up in South Africa. My MSc was on sperm competition in frogs, which involved designing a frog condom (yes, a plastic bag...

Divisional Visitor

Masters Student

PhD Student

Postdoctoral Fellow

Projects

Open to students

Publications

Publications

News & events

News

abstract image of journal article with male and female symbols
09
May
2015
A peer reviewer suggested that two female researchers find “one or two male biologists” to co-author a manuscript they had written and submitted to PLoS ONE.
Dr Megan Head in her evolutionary biology lab at the Research School of Biology. Image, Regina Vega-Trejo
18
Mar
2015
A new study has found some scientists are unknowingly tweaking experiments and analysis methods to increase their chances of getting results that are easily published.
Shiner surfperch, Cymatogaster aggregata
03
Feb
2014
Big waves are energetically costly for fish, and there are more big waves than ever. The good news is that fish might be able to adapt.
Dr Jennie Mallela taking a coral core skeleton sample.
28
Oct
2013
Fertilizer applied to crops doesn’t necessarily stay on land. The skeletons of coral on the Great Barrier Reef are the proof.

Pages

Highlights

Jennie Mallela

Research Background

Megan Head

Group research focus
Michael Jennions and students

Michael Jennions

Bizarre evolutionary games arise when species evolve to have males and females.

Updated:  21 November 2019/Responsible Officer:  Director RSB/Page Contact:  Webmaster RSB