Areas of Expertise

Evolution, Ecology and Behaviour

Qualifications
  • Ph.D. Evolutionary Biology (University of Toronto, 2007)
  • M.Sc. Ecology (Queen’s University, 2002)
  • B.Sc. Biology (McMaster University, 2000)

My research explores how the social environment shapes the evolution of individual traits and behaviours. This broad research question results in my use of many different animals, including humans. My work using insects and spiders explores how changes in the density of males and females affects developmental decisions, and the outcome this has for how individuals perform and age. My research on humans explores how our evolutionary history can explain gender differences in the video games we choose to play

 

 

 

 

Research Activities

Research Goals

  • To understand how the environment affects gene expression and how htat is translated to the phenotype
  • To understand how variation in the density of males and females affects individual mating strategies
  • To understand how our evolutionary history can explain gender differences in video game preferences and use

Research in Detail

My research generally explores the innate differences between males and females and how the environment, both social and ecological, modifies these differences. I’m interested in how individuals maximize fitness in what seems to be a chaotic and unpredictable world. Often, this require individuals to use information available during development to best make developmental decisions across suites of traits to best succeed in a future environment.

I use crickets to explore how the ecological and social environment affects juvenile developmental decisions, and the affect this has on the adult phenotype. Much of this research also explores how these early environments affect changes and gene expression, and how this translates to morphological, behavioural, and physiological differences at maturity.

My research with spiders explores how ecological environments affect the density of males and females, and the different strategies males and females use to overcome these limitations. These studies are performed in the field and also using large scale laboratory manipulations.

I have also started collaborating with Tom Denson in Psychology in an exciting new direction where we are exploring how our evolutionary history can explain gender differences in gaming preferences and habits. We perform laboratory experiments as well as online surveys to understand why we play the video games we do and what they do to us.

You can find outmore about my research on my personal website www.michaelkasumovic.com.

 

Grants

Hermon Slade Foundation 2012-2015, Understanding the role of the ecological and social environment in the evolution of complex communication in peacock spiders

ARC Discovery Early Career Research Award 2012-2014, Re-evaluating evolution by examining developmental plasticity in response to the social environment

ARC Discovery Grant 2012-2014, Adaptive plasticity and evolution: linking the genotype and the environment to understand phenotypic evolution and expression

ARC Postdoctoral Fellowship 2008-2011, The importance of phenotypic plasticity in maintaining variation

NSERC Postdoctoral Fellowship 2007-2009, Understandginthe relative importance of ecological and social factors in triggering phenotypic plasticity

 

Awards

UNSW Faculty of Science Early Career Researcher Award (2012)

Life Science & Biological Sciences Scopus Young Research of the Year (2012)

American Society of Naturalists Young Investigator Prize (2011)

NSW Young Tall Poppy Science Award Winner (2010)

Publications

Journal articles
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Denson TF; Dixson BJW; Tibubos AN; Zhang E; Harmon-Jones E; Kasumovic MM, 2020, 'Violent video game play, gender, and trait aggression influence subjective fighting ability, perceptions of men's toughness, and anger facial recognition', Computers in Human Behavior, vol. 104, pp. 106175 - 106175, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2019.106175
2020
Kasumovic MM, 2019, 'Simplifying our understanding of contests: A comment on Chapin et al', Behavioral Ecology, vol. 30, pp. 1189 - 1190, http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/beheco/arz131
2019
Blamires SJ; Cerexhe G; White TE; Herberstein ME; Kasumovic MM, 2019, 'Spider silk colour covaries with thermal properties but not protein structure', Journal of the Royal Society Interface, vol. 16, http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsif.2019.0199
2019
Viera C; Garcia LF; Lacava M; Fang J; Wang X; Kasumovic MM; Blamires SJ, 2019, 'Author Correction: Silk physico-chemical variability and mechanical robustness facilitates intercontinental invasibility of a spider (Scientific Reports, (2019), 9, 1, (13273), 10.1038/s41598-019-49463-9)', Scientific Reports, vol. 9, pp. 18040, http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-54237-4
2019
Viera C; Garcia LF; Lacava M; Fang J; Wang X; Kasumovic MM; Blamires SJ, 2019, 'Silk physico-chemical variability and mechanical robustness facilitates intercontinental invasibility of a spider', Scientific Reports, vol. 9, pp. 13273, http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-49463-9
2019
Craig HC; Blamires SJ; Sani MA; Kasumovic MM; Rawal A; Hook JM, 2019, 'DNP NMR spectroscopy reveals new structures, residues and interactions in wild spider silks', Chemical Communications, vol. 55, pp. 4687 - 4690, http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/C9CC01045A
2019
Dixson BJW; Sherlock JM; Cornwell WK; Kasumovic MM, 2018, 'Contest competition and men's facial hair: beards may not provide advantages in combat', Evolution and Human Behavior, vol. 39, pp. 147 - 153, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2017.11.004
2018
Girard MB; Kasumovic MM; Elias DO, 2018, 'The role of red coloration and song in peacock spider courtship: Insights into complex signaling systems', Behavioral Ecology, vol. 29, pp. 1234 - 1244, http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/beheco/ary128
2018
Kasumovic MM; Seebacher F, 2018, 'Casual movement speed but not maximal locomotor capacity predicts mate searching success', Journal of Evolutionary Biology, vol. 31, pp. 438 - 445, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jeb.13239
2018
Blamires SJ; Martens PJ; Kasumovic MM, 2018, 'Fitness consequences of plasticity in an extended phenotype', Journal of Experimental Biology, vol. 221, http://dx.doi.org/10.1242/jeb.167288
2018
Denson TF; Wilkowski BM; DeWall CN; Friese M; Hofmann W; Ferguson EL; Capper MM; Kasumovic MM, 2017, '“Thou Shalt Kill”: Practicing self-control supports adherence to personal values when asked to aggress', Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, vol. 69, pp. 71 - 78, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jesp.2016.09.001
2017
Anderson CL; Kasumovic MM, 2017, 'Development rate rather than social environment influences cognitive performance in Australian black field crickets, Teleogryllus commodus', PeerJ, vol. 2017, http://dx.doi.org/10.7717/peerj.3563
2017
Blamires SJ; Hasemore M; Martens PJ; Kasumovic MM, 2017, 'Diet-induced co-variation between architectural and physicochemical plasticity in an extended phenotype', Journal of Experimental Biology, vol. 220, pp. 876 - 884, http://dx.doi.org/10.1242/jeb.150029
2017
Kasumovic MM; Blake K; Denson TF, 2017, 'Using knowledge from human research to improve understanding of contest theory and contest dynamics', Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, vol. 284, http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2017.2182
2017
Blamires SJ; Kasumovic MM; Tso IM; Martens PJ; Hook JM; Rawal A, 2016, 'Evidence of decoupling protein structure from spidroin expression in spider dragline silks', International Journal of Molecular Sciences, vol. 17, http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms17081294
2016
Kasumovic MM; Chen Z; Wilkins MR, 2016, 'Australian black field crickets show changes in neural gene expression associated with socially-induced morphological, life-history, and behavioral plasticity', BMC Genomics, vol. 17, http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12864-016-3119-y
2016
Girard MB; Elias DO; Kasumovic MM, 2015, 'Female preference for multi-modal courtship: Multiple signals are important for male mating success in peacock spiders', Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, vol. 282, http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2015.2222
2015
Kasumovic MM; Kuznekoff JH, 2015, 'Insights into sexism: Male status and performance moderates female-directed hostile and amicable behaviour', PLoS ONE, vol. 10, http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0131613
2015
Kasumovic MM; Kuznekoff JH, 2015, 'Erratum: Insights into sexism: Male status and performance moderates female-directed hostile and amicable behaviour (PLoS ONE (2015) 10:7 (e0131613) DOI: 10.1371/journal. pone.0131613)', PLoS ONE, vol. 10, http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0138399
2015
Garcia JE; Girard MB; Kasumovic M; Petersen P; Wilksch PA; Dyer AG, 2015, 'Differentiating biological colours with few and many sensors: Spectral reconstruction with RGB and hyperspectral cameras', PLoS ONE, vol. 10, http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0125817
2015
Kasumovic MM; Blake K; Dixson BJ; Denson TF, 2015, 'Why do people play violent video games? Demographic, status-related, and mating-related correlates in men and women', Personality and Individual Differences, vol. 86, pp. 204 - 211, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2015.06.018
2015
Chiswell R; Girard M; Fricke C; Kasumovic MM, 2014, 'Prior mating success can affect allocation towards future sexual signaling in crickets', PeerJ, vol. 2014, http://dx.doi.org/10.7717/peerj.657
2014
Lailvaux SP; Wilson R; Kasumovic MM, 2014, 'Trait compensation and sex-specific aging of performance in male and female professional basketball players', Evolution, vol. 68, pp. 1523 - 1532, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/evo.12375
2014
Elias DO; Sivalinghem S; Mason AC; Andrade MCB; Kasumovic MM, 2014, 'Mate-guarding courtship behaviour: Tactics in a changing world', Animal Behaviour, vol. 97, pp. 25 - 33, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.anbehav.2014.08.007
2014
Jordan LA; Kokko H; Kasumovic M, 2014, 'Reproductive foragers: Male spiders choose mates by selecting among competitive environments', American Naturalist, vol. 183, pp. 638 - 649, http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/675755
2014
Kasumovic MM; Jordan LA, 2013, 'Social factors driving settlement and relocation decisions in a solitary and aggregative spider', American Naturalist, vol. 182, pp. 532 - 541, http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/671930
2013
Kasumovic M; Hall MD; Brooks RC, 2012, 'The juvenile social environment introduces variation in the choice and expression of sexually selected traits', Ecology and Evolution, vol. 2, pp. 1036 - 1047, http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ece3.230
2012
Stoltz JA; Andrade MCB; Kasumovic M, 2012, 'Plasticity in metabolic rates reinforces morphological plasticity in response to social cues of sexual selection', Journal of Insect Physiology, vol. 58, pp. 985 - 990, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jinsphys.2012.05.002
2012
Kasumovic M; Hall MD; Try H; Brooks RC, 2012, 'Developmental plasticity affects condition dependent trait expression', Behavioral Ecology, vol. doi: 10.1093/beheco/ars180, http://beheco.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2012/10/24/beheco.ars180.abstract?sid=f7084ca7-c3f1-4826-863a-b1235941ab9c
2012
Girard MB; Kasumovic MM; Elias DO, 2011, 'Multi-modal courtship in the peacock spider, Maratus volans (O.P.-Cambridge, 1874)', PLoS ONE, vol. 6, http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0025390
2011
Lailvaux SP; Kasumovic M, 2011, 'Defining individual quality over lifetimes and selective contexts', Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B - Biological Sciences, vol. 278, pp. 321 - 328, http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2010.1591
2011
Kasumovic M; Hall MD; Try H; Brooks RC, 2011, 'The importance of listening: Juvenile allocation shifts in response to acoustic cues of the social environment', Journal of Evolutionary Biology, vol. 24, pp. 1325 - 1334, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1420-9101.2011.02267.x
2011
De Souza L; Kasumovic M; Judge K; Morris G, 2011, 'Communicating male size by tremulatory vibration in a Columbian rainforest katydid, Gnathoclita sodalis (Orthoptera, Tettigoniidae)', Behaviour, vol. 148, pp. 341 - 357, http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/000579511X559418
2011
Kasumovic M; Mason A; Andrade M; Elias D; Ma C, 2011, 'The relative importance of RHP and resource quality in contests with ownership asymmetries', Behavioral Ecology, vol. 22, pp. 39 - 45, http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/beheco/arq161
2011
Girard M; Kasumovic M; Elias D, 2011, 'Male multi-modal courtship in the peacock spider, Maratus volans', PLoS One
2011
Kasumovic M, 2011, 'Stressing out about singing', Behavioral Ecology, vol. 22, pp. 10 - 10, http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/beheco/arq080
2011
Kasumovic M; Andrade M; Elias DO, 2011, 'Dynamic population structure and the evolution of mating systems', Advances in Insect Physiology, vol. 41, pp. 65 - 114, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-415919-8.00002-1
2011
Kasumovic M; Brooks RC, 2011, 'It’s all who you know: The evolution of socially-cued anticipatory plasticity as a mating strategy', Quarterly Review of Biology, vol. 86, pp. 181 - 197, http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/661119
2011
Kasumovic M; Elias D; Sivalinghema ; Mason A; Andrade M; Ma C, 2010, 'Examination of prior contest experience and the retention of winner and loser effects', Behavioral Ecology, vol. 21, pp. 404 - 409, http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/beheco/arp204
2010
Kasumovic M, 2010, 'High resource valuation fuels "desperado" fighting tactics in female jumping spiders', Behavioral Ecology, vol. 21, pp. 868 - 875, http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/beheco/arq073
2010
Kasumovic M, 2010, 'Vibratory communication in the jumping spider Phidippus clarus: Substrate-borne courtship signals are important for male mating success', Ethology, vol. 116, pp. 990 - 998, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1439-0310.2010.01815.x
2010
Kasumovic M, 2010, 'Vibratory communication in the jumping spider Phidippus clarus: Polyandry, male courtship signals, and mating success.', Behavioral Ecology, vol. 21, pp. 1308 - 1314, http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/beheco/arq150
2010
Kasumovic M; Bruce M; Andrade M; Herberstein M, 2009, 'Plasticity in response to demographic variation may help explain continuous phenotypic variation in nature', Ecology, vol. 90, pp. 2287 - 2296
2009
Kasumovic MM; Bruce MJ; Herberstein ME; Andrade MCB, 2009, 'Evidence for developmental plasticity in response to demographic variation in nature', Ecology, vol. 90, pp. 2287 - 2296, http://dx.doi.org/10.1890/08-1540.1
2009
Kasumovic M, 2009, 'Evolution: Exposing the buried costs of reproduction', Current Biology, vol. 19, pp. R1117 - R1119, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2009.10.065
2009
Kasumovic M; Andrade M, 2009, 'A change in competitive context reverses sexual selection on male size', Journal of Evolutionary Biology, vol. 22, pp. 324 - 333, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1420-9101.2008.01648.x
2009
Kasumovic M; Brooks RC; Andrade M, 2009, 'Body condition but not dietary restriction prolongs lifespan in a semelparous capital breeder', Biology Letters, vol. 5, pp. 636 - 638, http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2009.0335
2009
Kasumovic M; Radcliffe L; Boag P, 2009, 'Habitat Fragmentation and Paternity in Least Flycatchers', The Wilson Journal of Ornithology, vol. 121, pp. 306 - 313, http://dx.doi.org/10.1676/08-058.1
2009
Kasumovic M; Elias D; Punzalan D; Mason A; Andrade M; Ma C, 2009, 'Experience affects the outcome of agonistic contests without affecting the selective advantage of size', Animal Behaviour, vol. 77, pp. 1533 - 1538, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.anbehav.2009.02.026
2009
Schneider J; Herberstein M; Bruce M; Kasumovic M; Thomas M; Elgar M, 2008, 'Male copulation frequency, sperm competition and genital damage in the golden orb-web spider, Nephila plumipes.', Australian Journal of Zoology, vol. 56, pp. 233 - 238, http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/ZO08041
2008
Elias D; Kasumovic M; Punzalan D; Andrade M; Mason A; Ma C, 2008, 'Assessment during aggressive contests between male jumping spiders.', Animal Behaviour, vol. 76, pp. 901 - 910, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.anbehav.2008.01.032
2008
Kasumovic M; Andrade M; Bruce M; Herberstein M, 2008, 'Spatial and temporal demographic variation drives within-season fluctuations in sexual selection.', Evolution, vol. 62, pp. 2316 - 2325
2008
Kasumovic M; Bruce M; Herberstein M; Andrade M, 2007, 'Risky mate search and mate preference in the golden orb-web spider (Nephila plumipes).', Behavioral Ecology, vol. 18, pp. 189 - 195, http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/beheco/arl072
2007
Kasumovic M; Andrade M, 2006, 'Male development tracks rapidly shifting sexual versus natural selection pressures.', Current Biology, vol. 16, pp. R242 - R243, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2006.03.017
2006
Andrade M; Kasumovic M, 2005, 'Terminal investment and male mate choice: Extreme tests of Bateman.', Integrative and Comparative Biology, vol. 45, pp. 838 - 847, http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/icb/45.5.838
2005
Tarof S; Radcliffe L; Kasumovic M; Boag P, 2005, 'Are least flycatcher (Empidonax minimus) clusters hidden leks?', Behavioral Ecology, vol. 16, pp. 207 - 217, http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/beheco/arh155
2005
Kasumovic M; Andrade M, 2004, 'Discrimination of airborne pheromones by mate-searching black widow males: species- and population-specific responses.', Canadian Journal of Zoology - Revue Canadienne de Zoologie, vol. 82, pp. 1027 - 1034, http://dx.doi.org/10.1139/Z04-081
2004
Kasumovic MM; Andrade MCB, 2004, 'Discrimination of airborne pheromones by mate-searching male western black widow spiders (Latrodectus hesperus): Species- and population-specific responses', Canadian Journal of Zoology, vol. 82, pp. 1027 - 1034, http://dx.doi.org/10.1139/Z04-081
2004
Kasumovic M; Radcliffe L; Boag P, 2003, 'A method to improve confidence in paternity assignment in an open mating system.', Canadian Journal of Zoology - Revue Canadienne de Zoologie, vol. 81, pp. 2073 - 2076, http://dx.doi.org/10.1139/z03-198
2003
Kasumovic M; Ratcliffe L; Boag P, 2003, 'Song structure may differ between male and female least flycatchers.', Wilson Bulletin, vol. 115, pp. 241 - 245, http://dx.doi.org/10.1676/02-099
2003
Kasumovic MM; Gibbs HL; Woolfenden BE; Sealy SG; Nakamura H, 2002, 'Primary sex-ratio variation in two brood parasitic birds: Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater) and Common Cuckoo (Cuculus canorus)', Auk, vol. 119, pp. 561 - 566
2002
Conference Papers
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Lailvaux SP; Wilson R; Kasumovic MM, 2013, 'Sex-specific aging of performance in male and female professional basketball players', in INTEGRATIVE AND COMPARATIVE BIOLOGY, OXFORD UNIV PRESS INC, San Francisco, CA, pp. E120 - E120, presented at Annual Meeting of the Society-for-Integrative-and-Comparative-Biology (SICB), San Francisco, CA, 03 January 2013 - 07 January 2013, http://gateway.webofknowledge.com/gateway/Gateway.cgi?GWVersion=2&SrcApp=PARTNER_APP&SrcAuth=LinksAMR&KeyUT=WOS:000316991401015&DestLinkType=FullRecord&DestApp=ALL_WOS&UsrCustomerID=891bb5ab6ba270e68a29b250adbe88d1
2013
Kasumovic M; Bruce M; Herberstein M; Andrade M, 2008, 'Spatial and temporal demographic variation drives within-season fluctuations in sexual selection', in Evolution, Ithaca, USA, pp. 2316 - 2325, presented at Bienniel Congress of the International Society for Behavioral Ecology, Ithaca, USA, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1558-5646.2008.00446.x
2008
Kasumovic M; Elias D; Punzalan D; Andrade M; Mason A; Ma C, 2008, 'The role of previous experience on contest outcome and patterns of selection in a jumping spider', in The role of previous experience on contest outcome and patterns of selection in a jumping spider, Ontario Ethology and Ecology Colloquium 2008, Brock University, ON, presented at Ontario Ethology and Ecology Colloquium 2008, Brock University, ON, -
2008
Kasumovic M; Punzalan D; Andrade M; Mason A; Ma C, 2007, 'Intrasexual competition in spiders: the role of self assessment in male contests', in Intrasexual competition in spiders: the role of self assessment in male contests, Annual meeting of the Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolution, Toronto, Canada, presented at Annual meeting of the Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolution, Toronto, Canada, -
2007
Kasumovic M; Andrade M, 2006, 'Scent of a woman: males track changes in selection pressures through cues of female and male density', in Scent of a woman: males track changes in selection pressures through cues of female and male density, QC, Canada, QC, Canada, 01 November 2006
2006
Kasumovic M; Andrade M, 2006, 'Male development tracks rapidly shifting sexual versus natural selection pressures', in Male development tracks rapidly shifting sexual versus natural selection pressures, Ecology, Evolution, and Behaviour Colloquium, University of Toronto, ON, Canada, presented at Ecology, Evolution, and Behaviour Colloquium, University of Toronto, ON, Canada, 01 March 2006
2006
Kasumovic M; Andrade M, 2005, 'Is bigger better? Examining male competitions in context', in Is bigger better? Examining male competitions in context, Joint meeting of Entomological Society of Alberta and The Entomological Society of Canada, AB, Canada, presented at Joint meeting of Entomological Society of Alberta and The Entomological Society of Canada, AB, Canada, 01 November 2005
2005
Kasumovic M; Andrade M, 2003, 'Is staying power more important than size? Tests in the Australian redback spider', in Is staying power more important than size? Tests in the Australian redback spider, Ontario Ethology and Ecology Colloquium 2003, McMaster University, ON, presented at Ontario Ethology and Ecology Colloquium 2003, McMaster University, ON, 01 July 2003
2003