Michael Jennions

Lab research focus

Bizarre evolutionary games arise when species evolve to have males and females. These include resolving sexual conflict, choosing mates, battles over parental care, how to allocate sperm and whether to make sons or daughters. In jargon: we study the consequences of anisogamy.

Greatest achievement

Scientifically it would be presumptuous for me to say. My favourite projects have, however, always involved collaborating with extremely talented women and men: fieldworkers, statisticians and theoreticians. In hindsight, convincing them I have some skill to bring to these project seems like a major achievement.

Next big thing

I hope a student that I have supervised going on to make a major contribution to evolutionary theory. I suppose the boring answer is something to do with harnessing new technology to address key questions… but I am old-fashioned enough to believe a smart person with creative insights ultimately does more to advance science.

What do you see as future challenges for your field of research?

Pessimistically, I'd say convincing the taxpayer to continue to fund evolutionary biology that does not have any immediately obvious applied angle. Optimistically, I'd say reminding colleagues in all fields (from economics to linguistics to medicine) of the amazing insights that can be gained by including an evolutionary perspective. It makes sense of nonsense.