Joseph Tomkins

Dr, BSc Sheff., PhD Liv.

  • The University of Western Australia (M092), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


Calculated based on number of publications stored in Pure and citations from Scopus

Personal profile


I have an Honours degree in Zoology from the University of Sheffield, and a PhD from the University of Liverpool. I have held research fellowships in Australia and the UK. In the UK I spent 2000-2005 at the University of St Andrews (BBSRC David Philips fellowship) and one year at the University of Exeter (Royal Society URF). At the University of Western Australia I was employed on fellowships from 1997 - 2000 (Royal Society/ UWA Fellowship) and again from 2005 to 2011 (ARC ARF) I was an ARC Future Fellow from 2011-2015.

Roles and responsibilities

Seminar Series Coordinator 2007-2009

Health and Safety Committee Chair 2013

Honours coordinator 2011-2014

Graduate Research Cordinator 2014-2016

Teaching and Learning Committee 2014-2018

Research Committee 2018 - 

Future research

I have ARC funding (DP 2017) to develop an empirical understanding of anisogamy. I am intrested in a breadth of subjects mostly centred around sexual selection, mutations adaptation and threshold evolution.

This combination of research is leading towards applied evolutionary biology, we are using experimental evolution to improve algal production and to understand adaptation to changing climate.

Teaching overview

Honours supervision

3rd Year Behavioural Ecology

3rd Year Evolutionary Processes

1st Year 'The Darwinian Revolution'


My research began verymuch focussed on sexual selection. As a consequence I remain particularly interested in the genetic architecture of sexually selected and life-history traits, allometry, phenotypic plasticity and developmental integration. However I have I have a broad interest in threshold traits and their evolutionary quirks, that has lead me to study the evolution of human twinning by using simulations and mathematical models. I also used the threshold modelling approach to understand climate the behaviour of ticks that are becoming a major vector for disease as climate changes. I am currently developing methodologies for experimentally manipulating anisogamy in single celled algae. As a byproduct of the algal research we are exploring using experimental evolution to improve algal productivity. Please contact me if you would like to join in on any aspect of this diverse research enterprise!

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land

Research expertise keywords

  • Allometry
  • Alternative reproductive tactics
  • Alternative strategies
  • Genetic variation
  • Inbreeding
  • Sexual selection
  • Threshold traits


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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