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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Jennie Mallela

Story | Tuesday 1 May 2018
Jennie Mallela conducts multidisciplinary research combining ecological, biological and geochemical research techniques to understand how environmental disturbance will impact reef function and health in the future.

Megan Head

Story | Tuesday 16 January 2018

Group research focus

Coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef

Waving a white flag - what message does coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef send?

Story | Tuesday 27 June 2017
Coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef.
Coral Reef Field Studies

Coral Reef Field studies at One Tree Island

Story | Monday 20 February 2017
Jennie Mallela recently co-taught the ANU coral reef field course, with colleagues from the Research School of Earth Sciences, up in the southern Great Barrier Reef.

Genital size doesn't matter - for fish

Story | Thursday 19 May 2016

How queen bees control the princesses

Story | Monday 1 February 2016

ARC Discovery projects and DECRA fellowships

Story | Monday 2 November 2015

Sexist peer review causes Twitter storm

Story | Saturday 9 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.

Scientists unknowingly tweak experiments

Story | Wednesday 18 March 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.