Meng-Han Chung

Group membership

I am a behavioral ecologist and ecophysiologist specializing in studying the plasticity of reproductive behavior and life-history strategies in animals in response to a changing world, encompassing both social contexts and physical environments. I completed my PhD at the Australian National University in 2023, investigating the short-term plasticity and long-term costs of male reproduction and the effects of early-life environment stress on subsequent adult behaviour, growth, reproductive output and lifespan. During my doctoral studies, I received support from the Australian Government Research Training Program International Scholarship, the Fee-Offset Scholarship, and a Taiwanese Government Scholarship to Study Abroad.

Currently, I hold a postdoctoral research position at ANU, where I collaborate with Prof. Michael Jennions and Dr. Megan Head.

Research interests

My research primarily focuses on fish, including:

(1) Short-term reproductive plasticity

  • Can males increase their sperm production when more females are present in their vicinity?
  • Can males control the timing of sperm release using their intermittent organ?
  • Do animals modify their nest design (location, structure, material) and nest-building behaviors based on ambient conditions such as water velocity?

(2) Long-term reproductive costs

  • Do mated individuals experience accelerated aging and reduced lifespan compared to virgins?
  • Which reproductive components are more costly for males: mating behaviors (courtship, male-male fights) or gamete production (ejaculation, sperm traits)?

(3) Effects of environmental stress on life-history trajectory

  • How do freshwater fish adjust their life-history strategies when living in a salinized aquatic environment?
  • When adaptive plasticity relies on stable environmental cues, how do animals adjust their growth, body condition, and reproductive investments in response to fluctuating environmental conditions such as salinity?
  • Does reduced food availability impact an individual's ability to cope with other environmental stresses, such as high temperatures?
  • Chung, M, Jennions, M & Bathgate, R 2021, 'Quantifying the costs of pre- and postcopulatory traits for males: Evidence that costs of ejaculation are minor relative to mating effort', Evolution Letters, vol. 5, no. 4, pp. 315-327.
  • Chung, M, Bathgate, R & Jennions, M 2020, 'Fine-scale genital morphology affects male ejaculation success: an experimental test', Biology Letters, vol. 16, no. 6, pp. 1-5.
  • Chung, M, Jennions, M & Fox, R 2019, 'Novel ablation technique shows no sperm priming response by male eastern mosquitofish to cues of female availability', Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, vol. 73, no. 12, pp. 1-10.