Australian neriid flies have become a valuable model organism for research on the development and function of exaggerated male secondary sexual traits. These traits are enlarged in males who are reared on a nutrient-rich larval diet. Their expression varies between neriid populations along the east coast of Australia.

We still know very little about how sexual selection acts on traits of sexual behaviour, and whether variation in patterns of sexual selection can account for differences between populations in male sexual morphology. In the project Sexual Selection in the Wild, we’ll explore sexual behaviour and sexual selection in Australian neriid flies.


This research project will investigate sexual behaviour and sexual selection in natural populations of neriid flies.

Student Benefits

You’ll conduct cutting-edge research on a high-profile question in evolutionary ecology. Through this project you will learn how to:

  • Design and carry out experiments
  • Carry out sophisticated statistical analysis
  • Write an influential scientific paper

Honours students in the Bonduriansky lab often publish their work in prestigious journals, such as:

  • The American Naturalist
  • Functional Ecology
  • Animal Behaviour
  • Scientific Reports