CIE Seminar Series 2015 – Studies of sex and scientists: from theory to data to getting papers published

Michael JennionsSPEAKER: Professor Michael Jennions, Evolution, Ecology and Genetics,Research School of Biology,The Australian National University, Canberra

DATE: Friday, 23rd October 2015
LOCATION: Geelong Campus at Waurn Ponds, Room ka3.411
TIME: 12:00 noon
Seminar will also be video linked to the following campuses: Melbourne Campus at Burwood LT11 (B1.20); and Warrnambool Campus, Room C1.13

ABSTRACT: Theory, data and publication: the good, the bad and the ugly – you can decide which is which. I will try to talk about all three.

First, I will present a basic model that asks: “What is the optimal offspring sex ratio to produce if your sons are more likely to die than your daughters during childcare?” There is no squiggly maths – only concepts.

Second, I will present results of studies on male genital size in humans and fish. What happens if you artificially select for a larger sexual organ?

Third, time permitting, I will present a survey asking whether the craving for statistically significant results taints the scientific literature.

BIO: Michael grew up in South Africa in the 70’s and 80’s. He did his undergraduate and MSc at Wits University in Johannesburg, and a PhD at Oxford. He then spent five years at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama.

The excitement of spending formative years in these exotic places clearly got to him because since 2001 he has been based in Canberra at the ANU.

He mainly studies sexual selection and sex roles, and has published research on frogs, birds, cichlids, damselflies, crickets, crabs and live-bearer fishes.

Appointments with guest speaker may be made via Kate Buchanan.

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