Jennions Lab - Behavioural and reproductive ecology

Mosquito fish

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 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 therefore testing sexual selection theory. The kinds of questions we ask are:

  • Why is there a tight scaling relationship between body and genital size in some species?
  • 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?

We conduct: behavioural ecology experiments, breeding Designs (quantitative genetics), artificial selection, and meta-analysis of literature.

We use: acoustic monitoring devices, sound analysis, immunological assays, diet manipulations, paternity analysis, and sperm assays.

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



Michael Jennions

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

Divisional Visitor

Honours Student

Masters Student

PhD Student

Postdoctoral Scientist

Special Project Student

Visiting Fellow

Visiting Scholar





Michael Jennions and students

Michael Jennions

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

Updated:  23 October 2016/Responsible Officer:  Director RSB/Page Contact:  Webmaster RSB