CIE Seminar Series – 2019: Sexual selection before and after mating

SPEAKERS: Professor Leigh Simmons, Centre for Evolutionary Biology, School of Biological Sciences, The University of Western Australia, WA

DATE: Friday, 18th October 2019

TIME: 1:30pm

LOCATION: Geelong Campus at Waurn Ponds – Room ka4.207 (Green room)

Seminar will also be video linked to the following campuses: Melbourne Campus at Burwood –Burwood Corporate Centre and Warrnambool Campus, Room J2.19 (Fishbowl)


What to do when you cannot have it all? A fundamental tenant of life history theory is the notion than animals have a limited supply of resources that must be allocated to different activities to maximize fitness. Males must decide how much they invest in competing for females (the weapons and ornaments of pre-mating sexual selection) and how much they must invest in their fertility (ejaculates used in post-mating sexual competition).

In this overview of his work, Leigh will give a general introduction to pre- and post-mating sexual selection, before briefly outlining some theoretical models used to predict the evolution of male sexual traits in the face of competing demands. He will then present some empirical studies that have sought to test these predictions. In so doing he will be focussing on research on three model systems, dung beetles, frogs and field crickets, and on a series of comparative analyses.


Leigh Simmons is Professor of Evolutionary Biology at the University of Western Australia. He studied at the University of Nottingham where he received his PhD in 1986. He held a research fellowship at the University of Liverpool UK before moving to Australia in 1995.

He has published more than 350 articles and 5 books on the behavior and ecology of reproduction in an array of taxa from insects to humans. He is Editor-in Chief of Behavioral Ecology and Editor of Advances in the Study of Behavior. He is a recipient of the Zoological Society of London’s Scientific Medal, held an Australian Research Council Federation Fellowship from 2005-2009, and was elected to the Australian Academy in 2009.

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