Jennions Group - Behavioural and reproductive ecology

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.

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Publications

Postponed - E&E PhD Exit Seminar: Get high with your weed: lessons from a tropical ‘seaweed-invertebrate-fish’ food chain

Event | Fri 13 August 2021
Canopy-forming seaweeds, generally brown macroalgae, are worldwide dominant primary producers and habitat constructors in our marine environments.
Recorded EE Webinar - Edwards

E&E Webinar: Wings, feathers, flight: the PhyloG2P approach to understanding bird biology

Event | Thu 1 October 2020
Scott Edwards is an acclaimed evolutionary biologist specialising in molecular evolution in birds. 
Recorded EE Webinar - Ritchie

E&E Webinar: Science Fictions: Some Cautionary Tales from the Replication Crisis

Event | Thu 20 August 2020
Why is there a Replication Crisis? That is, why are there so many findings in the published scientific literature that can't be replicated, or are exaggerated far beyond reality?
Recorded seminar Vivek EE Seminar

E&E Webinar: Stereo vision and prey detection in the praying mantis

Event | Thu 23 July 2020
Praying mantises are the only insects known to have stereo vision. We used a comparative approach to determine how the mechanisms underlying stereopsis in mantises differ from those underlying primate stereo vision.

You need to shut up: research silencing and its implications for academic freedom

Event | Tue 6 August 2019

Academic freedom is a notion often taken for granted by scholars.

Is facial masculinity a signal of health in men? Insights from a longitudinal dataset

Event | Tue 23 July 2019

Evolutionary theories suggest that women prefer masculine facial features in men because facial masculinity is an honest signal of men’s immune fun

The Price of Sex: an unexpected dimension in human evolutionary success and contemporary well-being

Event | Tue 25 September 2018

Having spent much of my working life studying sexual conflicts in animals, I have grown increasingly absorbed by human relations and how evolutiona

Older males come out on top in battle of the breeders

Story | Friday 30 July 2021
Age is no barrier when it comes to reproducing for male mosquitofish.

Lauren Harrison, RSB PhD student - International Day of Women and Girls in Science

Story | Tuesday 11 February 2020
Lauren Harrison, a PhD student in RSB, writes about what it’s like to be a woman in science and the importance of mentoring.

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