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Personal profile


Anne works in the School of Biological Sciences at Monash University as Associate Professor.

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
  • Telomere ecology

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.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action

Research area keywords

  • Behavioural Ecology
  • Sexual selection

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or