Aggression and juvenile development

Supervisor: Prof. Russell Bonduriansky

Synopsis

Megacrania batesii stick insect males can be intensely aggressive as adults, fighting over females and sometimes inflicting serious injuries on each other. But preliminary observations suggest that aggressive behaviour starts well before these insects reach adulthood. Nymphs might attempt to exclude rivals from host plants to gain an advantage once they reach adulthood.

Aims

This project will investigate whether M. batesii nymphs engage in aggressive interactions.

Benefits to student

You will learn how to design and carry out experiments, how to carry out sophisticated statistical analysis, and how to write a scientific paper. Honours students in the Bonduriansky lab often publish their work in prestigious journals, such as The American Naturalist, Functional Ecology, Animal Behaviour, and Scientific Reports.