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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Michael Jennions

Story | Wednesday 26 February 2014
Lab research focus

Waves costly for fish

Story | Monday 3 February 2014

Are fish good athletes?

Story | Wednesday 18 September 2013

Parasitised fish pick sides

Story | Tuesday 4 June 2013

Size matters for heroes, not zeroes

Story | Tuesday 9 April 2013

Picky females prefer well-fed males

Story | Wednesday 11 January 2012

ARC grant success

Story | Thursday 3 November 2011

Fiddler crabs offer safe sex for favours

Story | Wednesday 4 November 2009
Male Fiddler Crabs will quite happily protect a female neighbour, but do so partly in exchange for sex, according to a new study from The Australian National University.