Anne Peters

Assoc Professor

1994 …2021
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Personal profile


Anne works in the School of Biological Sciences at Monash University as a Senior Lecturer, ARC Future Fellow

Anne's research areas of interest are:

  • Behavioural Ecology
  • Sexual selection
  • Communication by honest signals
  • Avian colouration
  • Life-history trade-offs
  • Ecological immunology
  • Behavioural endocrinology

Sexual selection: Honesty of sexual ornaments One of my main fields of research concerns physiological mechanisms that maintain honest signalling of individual quality through ornamentation. With my research group I tested the role of hormonal effects (testosterone) and dependence on general condition or specific dietary components (antioxidants mainly) as such honesty-enforcing links using birds as model organisms. Currently we are expanding this approach by looking at interactions between mechanisms (testosterone and carotenoids; multiple antioxidants).

Life-history trade-offs: the role of ecological immunology Although the immune system is central to survival, animals show great variation in their immune investment. This is related to trade-offs resulting from costs of immune system maintenance and activation and competing demands (investment in sexual signals, parental care). I study how these trade-offs are affected by individual quality, hormonal status, diet quality and environmental factors.

Interactions between mating and breeding system in Australian fairy-wrens Fairy-wrens are cooperatively breeding small songbirds, that are renowned for their striking seasonal plumage in males, their complex reproductive strategy and above all their extreme unfaithfulness. I showed that testosterone regulates how males balance investment in sexual attractiveness and parental care in superb fairy-wrens. Recently, we discovered that its close relation, the purple-crowned fairy-wren, follows a faithful mating strategy, and this appears to have consequences for its mating behaviour, acoustic signals, plumage development, and the cooperative breeding system.

Avian colour signals: form and functions Birds display a fantastic variety of colours, and this is often related to sexual selection. However, colours can also function in crypsis. We are testing hypotheses explaining colour variation by considering avian visual physiology, patterns of variability and sources of colour production.

Research area keywords

  • Behavioural Ecology
  • Sexual selection

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Projects 2012 2021

Research Output 1994 2019

Conspicuous plumage does not increase predation risk: A continent-wide test using model songbirds

Cain, K. E., Hall, M. L., Medina, I., Leitao, A. V., Delhey, K., Brouwer, L., Peters, A., Pruett-Jones, S., Webster, M. S., Langmore, N. E. & Mulder, R. A., Mar 2019, In : American Naturalist. 193, 3, p. 359-372 14 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access

Early-life telomere length predicts lifespan and lifetime reproductive success in a wild bird

Eastwood, J. R., Hall, M. L., Teunissen, N., Kingma, S. A., Hidalgo Aranzamendi, N., Fan, M., Roast, M. J., Verhulst, S. & Peters, A., 1 Mar 2019, In : Molecular Ecology. 28, 5, p. 1127-1137 11 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Evolutionary drivers of seasonal plumage colours: colour change by moult correlates with sexual selection, predation risk and seasonality across passerines

McQueen, A., Kempenaers, B., Dale, J., Valcu, M., Emery, Z. T., Dey, C. J., Peters, A. & Delhey, K., 1 Jan 2019, (Accepted/In press) In : Ecology Letters. 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Extreme Competence: Keystone Hosts of Infections

Martin, L. B., Addison, B. A., Bean, A. G. D., Buchanan, K. L., Crino, O. L., Eastwood, J. R., Flies, A. S., Hamede, R., Hill, G. E., Klaassen, M., Koch, R. E., Martens, J. M., Napolitano, C., Narayan, E. J., Peacock, L., Peel, A. J., Peters, A., Raven, N., Risely, A., Roast, M. J. & 6 others, Rollins, L. A., Ruiz-Aravena, M., Selechnik, D., Stokes, H. S., Ujvari, B. & Grogan, L. F., 1 Apr 2019, In : Trends in Ecology and Evolution. 34, 4, p. 303-314 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

Immunosenescence in wild animals: meta-analysis and outlook

Peters, A., Delhey, K., Nakagawa, S., Aulsebrook, A. & Verhulst, S., 1 Jan 2019, In : Ecology Letters. 22, 10, p. 1709–1722 14 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review