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Prof John Endler
I have broad interests in the area of overlap between Evolution, Ecology, Animal Behaviour, Sensory
Ecology, Sensory Physiology and Environmental Biophysics. My main interest is in the joint effects of
these factors on adaptation and using integrated principles from all of these fields to make and test
explicit predictions about the direction of evolution under specified and changing environmental
conditions. I regard myself as a 19th century natural historian who uses 21st century technques, and
this obvioiusly works because I just (2012) got elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Sciences.
My research group and I primarily work with guppies in mesocosms and both bowerbirds and dragon lizards
in the field, but also work with frogs, insects and spiders.
I recently became interested in the use of visual illusions in mate choice in Bowerbirds and even more
recently developed completely new methods of analyzing the geometry of colour patterns and how they
interact with mate choice.
We continue to investigate the function, dynamics and evolution of colour patterns, colour-based
behaviour, and colour vision, and use visual physiology methods to make explicit predictions about the
direction of evolution under changed environmental conditions.
I am happy to take honours students, Ph.D. students, and Postdocs who are interested in similar subjects
and questions, just ask me!
The publication list below is not listed in date order because it is very time consuming to rearrange
the order each time a new paper is published, and I would rather spend the time doing science.
CareerProfessor of Sensory Ecology & Evolution, Deakin University, 2010-current
Professor of Animal Behaviour, University of Exeter, UK, 2006-2009
Professor of Evolution, University of California Santa Barbara 1986-2006
Professor of Zoology, James Cook University 1996-1998
Adjunct Professor of Zoology, James Cook University 1998-current
Key publicationsEndler, J.A., Endler, L. C., and Doerr, N. R. (2010) Great Bowerbirds Create Theaters with Forced Perspective When Seen by Their Audience. Current Biology 20, 1679-1684
Wilson, D., R. Heinsohn, & J. A. Endler (2007) The adaptive significance of ontogenetic colour change in a tropical python Biol. Lett 3, 40-43
Madden, J. R.; Dingle, C.; Isden, J.; Sparfeld, J.; Goldizen, A. W.; Endler, J. A. (2012) Male spotted bowerbirds propagate fruit for use in their sexual display. Current Biology 22, R262-R265
Blount, J. D.; Rowland, H. M.; Drijfhout, F. P.; Endler, J. A.; Inger, R.; Sloggett, J. J.; Hurst, G. G. D.; Hodgson, D. J.; Speed, M. P. (2012) How the ladybird got its spots: effects of resource limitation on the honesty of aposematic signals Functional Ecology 26, 334-342
Kelley, L.A. and J. A. Endler (2012) Illusions promote mating success in great bowerbirds Science 335, 334-449
View entire list of audited publications
Professional activitiesEditor, Evolutionary Ecology
Associate editor for Australian Journal of Zoology, Integrative and Communicative Biology, Journal of Ethology, and Acta Ethologica
Related linksTeaching website utilizing my guppy research
LSED-MRPP (nonparametric nested ANOVA) program (Endler & Mielke 2005), use passwrod lmp5 to unzip (lower case L not one)
MATLAB m-files: designed to calculate the position of a set of 4 cone captures in tetrahedral space, and plot them.
www.deakin.edu.au/scitech/les/ staff/endlerj/docs/Tetrahedral Calculations.zip
Postdoctoral fellowsNameProject title
Laura KelleySignal design in Bowerbirds Palestina Guevara-FioreMate choice and signalling in guppies Andreas SvenssonMechanisms of quality signalling in guppies Christa BeckmannLife History evolution along environmental gradients Xandy KranzExperimental evolution of the guppy visual system
PhD studentsStudent nameThesis title
Bibiana RojasAposematism and polymorphism in dendrobatid frogs Gemma ColeCo-option of food-finding mechansisms in mate choice
Honours studentsStudent nameThesis title Kasun EkanayakeNesting biology and predation in red-capped plovers Jason StaindlBiomechanics of guppy sigmoid displays
Teaching areasEvolutionary Ecology