Jonathan Green

Research Interests

Across the animal kingdom, competition among females for resources necessary for reproduction has the potential to be a major force shaping the evolution of social behaviour and mating systems, but the ultimate selection pressures and proximate mechanisms shaping female competition are poorly understood. The DPhil project, defined in discussions with the student, will provide an opportunity to tackle such questions using the cichlid fish Lamprologus ocellatus, a species in which females compete for access to snail shells for use as nests. Possible avenues of research include: (a) analysis of dyadic contests between females to explore the role of skill in animal fights; (b) analysis of triadic contests where males intervene to reduce female-female aggression to investigate how opponents in these complex interactions gather and use information about each other; (c) determining the role of female competition in explaining variation in female fertility, and (d) exploring trade-offs between competitive signalling and immune function. Research is likely to include behavioural experiments in the lab and the field, as well as comparative analyses and mathematical modelling. Finally, while behavioural work in my group currently focuses mainly on fish, I would also be happy to discuss ideas for projects looking at these questions in insects

Personal Research Keywords

social behaviour, mating systems, sexual selection, competition, fish