Associate Professor Shinichi Nakagawa
Field of Research: 
Evolutionary biology, behavioural ecology, genetics, meta-analysis
Contact details:
+61 2 9385 9138
Room 5102, Level 5 West
Biological Sciences South (E26)

UNSW, Kensington 2052

Research & Current Projects


My research interests are very diverse but usually fall into three categories: 1) Animal Behaviour, 2) Evolutionary Biology and 3) Applied Statistics. My main model organisms have primarily been birds (sparrows, dunnocks  and penguins), but I have also worked with earthworms, amphipods, frogs and fish (to be honest, I prefer eating, rather than studying, the last model system). Currently, my main experimental model is zebrafish in collaboration with Dr Dan Hesselson at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research.


  • Transgenerational inheritance of enviornmentally induced phenotype in zebrafish,
  • Meta-analysis on trans-generational effects of maternal dietary manipulations,
  • Ontogenetic effects on 'Greater Male Variability' in human intelligence,
  • Maternal and ontogenetic effects on personality, cognition and metabolism in lizard.
  • Robust inference and reproducibility in ecology and evolution

See also:


Malgorzata Lagisz (Postdoctoral Fellow)
Joel Pick (Postdoctoral Fellow)
Daniel Noble (DECRA Fellow)



Rose O'Dea (PhD candidate) – Transgenerational effects in zebrafish
Carlos Esteban Lara (PhD candidate) – Fitness consequences of monogamy and polyandry in dunnocks (Prunella modularis)
Benedikt Holtmann (PhD candidate)  - Personality in dunnocks (Prunella modularis)


Yu-Hsun Hsu (PhD, 2014) – The causes and consequences of extra-pair mating in house sparrows (Passer domesticus)
Eduardo Santos (PhD, 2012) – Mating system. Parental care and the behavioural ecology of dunnocks
Alistair Senior (PhD, 2013) – The individual and population-level consequences of chemically induced sex reversal in fish
Jiahui Nat Lim (Masters, 2013) – Maternal sex allocation and trade-offs in offspring investment
Mike J. Hitchcock (Masters, 2012) – Evaluating the side effects of feed-restriction and compensatory growth in fish
Morgan J. McLean (Masters, 2011) – Testing the predictions of inter-sexual selection theory, using anurans as a model system
Katie L. Hector (Masters, 2011) – Multi-level analysis of compensatory growth


Guest lecture in BIOS3011 (Animal behaviour)


Only year 2015 shown, for the full publication list please see:

Samia, D. S. M., Nakagawa, S., Nomura, F., Rangel, T. F. & Blumstein, D. (2015) Increased tolerance to humans among disturbed wildlife. Nature Communications. 6: 8877 [Link]

Kohn, Y. Y., Symonds, J. E., Kleffmann, T., Nakagawa, S., Lagisz, M. & Lokman, P. M. (2015) Proteomic analysis of early-stage embryos: implications for egg quality in hapuku (Polyprion oxygeneios). Fish Physiology and Biochemistry. 41: 1403-1417 [Link]

Nakagawa, S. & Parker, T. H. (2015) Replicating research in ecology and evolution: feasibility, incentives, and the cost-benefit conundrum. BMC Biology. 13: 88 [Link]

Senior, A. M., Nakagawa, S., Lihoreau, M., Simpson, S. & Raubenheimer, D. (2015) An overlooked consequence of dietary mixing: a varied diet reduces inter-individual variance in fitness. American Naturalist. 186: 649-659 [Link] [Comments]

Santos, E. S. A., Santos, L. L. S., Lagisz, M. & Nakagawa, S. (2015) Conflict and cooperation over sex: the consequences of social and genetic polyandry for reproductive success in dunnocks.  Journal of Animal Ecology. 84: 1509-1519 [Link]

​Mills, J. A., Teplitsky, C. & 61 other authors including Nakagawa, S. (2015) Archiving primary data: solutions for long-term studies. Trends in Ecology & Evolution. 30:581-589 [Link]

Simons, M. J. P., Winney, I., Nakagawa, S., Burke, T. & Schroeder, J. (2015) Limited catching bias in a wild population of birds with near-complete census information. Ecology and Evolution. 5: 3500-3506 [Link]

Mittell, E. A., Nakagawa, S. & Hadfield, J. D.  (2015) Are molecular markers useful predictors of adaptive potential? Ecology Letters. 18: 772-778 [Link]

Nakagawa, S., Schroeder, J. & Burke, T. (2015) Sugar-free extrapair mating: a comment on Arct et al.Behavioral Ecology. 26: 971-972 [Link]

Grimaldi, W. W., Seddon, P. J., Lyver, P. O’B.  Nakagawa, S. & Tompkins, D. M. (2015) Infectious disease of Antarctic penguins: current status and future threats. Polar Biology. 38: 591-606 [Link]

Hinks, A. E., Cole, E. F., Daniels, K. J., Wilkin, T. A., Nakagawa, S. & Sheldon, B. C. (2015) Scale-dependent phenological synchrony between songbirds and their caterpillar food source. American Naturalist. 186: 84-97 [Link]

Moore, F., Tomkins, S., Nakagawa, S. & Lara, C. E. (2015) Accidental or intentional eggshell breakage? A report of intriguing observations in dunnocks (Prunella modularis). Notornis. 62: 99-101 [Link] [see also]

Winney, I., Nakagawa, S., Hsu, Y.-H., Burke, T. & Schroeder, J. (2015) Troubleshooting the potential pitfalls of cross-fostering. Methods in Ecology and Evolution. 6: 584-592 [Link]

Miyazaki, M. & Nakagawa, S. (2015) Geographical variation in male calls and the effect on female response in little penguins. Acta Ethologica. 18: 227-234 [Link]

Senior, A. M., Lokman, P. M., Closs, G. P. & Nakagawa, S. (2015) Ecological and evolutionary applications for environmental sex reversal of fish. Quarterly Review of Biology. 90: 23-44 [Link]

Hsu, Y.-H., Schroeder, J., Winney, I., Burke, T. & Nakagawa, S. (2015) Are extra-pair males different from cuckolded males? A case study and a meta-analytic examination. Molecular Ecology. 24: 1558-1571 [Link]

Schroeder, J., Nakagawa, S., Rees M., Manarelli, M.-E. & Burke, T. (2015) Reduced fitness in progeny from old parents in a wild population  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS). 112: 4021-4025 [Link]
Johnson, S. L., Dunleavy, J., Gemmell, N. J. & Nakagawa, S. (2015) Consistent age-dependent declines in human semen quality: a systematic review and meta- analysis. Ageing Research Reviews. 19: 22-33 [Link] [media1] [media2] [media3] [media4] [media5]

Lamatsch, D. K., Adolfsson, S., Senior, A. M., Pichler, Christiansen, S.,  M. Ozaki, Y., Schartl, M. & Nakagawa, S. (2015) A transcriptome derived sex-specific marker in the invasive Western mosquitofish Gambusia affinis. PLoS One. 10: e0118214 [Link]

Nakagawa, S., Poulin, R. Mengersen, K., Reinhold, K., Engqvist, L., Lagisz, M. & Senior, A. M. (2015) Meta-analysis of variation: ecological and evolutionary applications and beyond. Methods in Ecology and Evolution. 6: 143-152 [Link]

Cleasby, I. R., Nakagawa, S. & Schielzeth, H. (2015) Quantifying the predictability of behaviour: statistical approaches for the study of between-individual variation in the within-individual variance. Methods in Ecology and Evolution. 6: 27-37 [Link]

Karlsson, M., Schroeder J., Nakagawa, S., Smith, H., Burke T. & Westerdahl, H. (2015) House sparrow (Passer domesticus) survival is not associated with MHC-I diversity, but possibly with specific MHC-I alleles. Journal of Avian Biology. 146: 167-174 [Link]

Nakagawa, S. (2015) Missing data: mechanisms, methods and messages In: Ecological Statistics: contemporary theory and application (eds. Fox, G. A., Negrete-Yankelevich, S. & Sosa, V. J.). Oxford University Press, Oxford. pp. 81-105 [Link]

Gurevitch J. & Nakagawa, S. (2015) Research synthesis methods in ecology In: Ecological Statistics: contemporary theory and application (eds. Fox, G. A., Negrete-Yankelevich, S. & Sosa, V. J.). Oxford University Press, Oxford. pp. 201-228 [Link]