Joseph Tomkins

Dr, BSc Sheff., PhD Liv.

  • The University of Western Australia (M092), 35 Stirling Highway, Room 2.15, Zoology Building, Perth campus

    6009 Crawley


  • 2356 Citations
  • 27 h-Index
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Personal profile


I have an Honours degree in Zoology from the University of Sheffield, and a PhD from the University of Liverpool. Since leaving Liverpool I have had Research Fellowships in Australia and the UK. In the UK I spent 2000-2005 at the University of St Andrews and one year at the University of Exeter. At the University of Western Australia I was employed on fellowships from 1997 - 2000 and again from 2005 to 2011. I was an ARC Future Fellow from 2011-2015.

Roles and responsibilities

Graduate Research Co-ordinator for the School of Animal Biology.

Future research

My Future Fellowship Research was on the evolution of threshold traits and covered traits as diverse as mate-choice and polyandry to the spread of disease by ticks. This research is ongoing.

I have received ARC funding (starting 2017) to develop an empirical understanding of anisogamy.

Teaching overview

3rd Year Behavioural Ecology
3rd Year Evolutionary Genetics
2nd Year Conservation Biology
1st Year 'The Darwinian Revolution'


My research is in sexual selection. I am particularly interested in the genetic architecture of sexually selected and life-history traits, allometry, phenotypic plasticity and developmental integration. I have a broad interest in threshold traits and their evolutionary quirks. I am currently developing methodologies for experimentally manipulating anisogamy.


I speak English
sometimes in hilarious accents. I speak Franglais and Spanglish with equal ease.


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

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Projects 2000 2019

Research Output 1999 2018

Living with fire: Ecology and genetics of the dasyurid mammal Dasykaluta rosamondae

Hayes, G. L. 2018 (Unpublished)

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

fire ecology
arid zones
Chlamydomonas reinhardtii
vegetative cells
Germ Cells

The effects of the social environment and physical disturbance on personality traits

Rudin, F. S., Tomkins, J. L. & Simmons, L. W. 1 Apr 2018 In : Animal Behaviour. 138, p. 109-121 13 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

physical disturbance
social environment

Using experimental divergence in competitive mating success to test sexual selection theory

Dugand, R. J. 2018 (Unpublished)

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

sexual selection
genetic variation
artificial selection
quantitative genetics
inbreeding depression

Changes in dominance status erode personality and behavioral syndromes

Rudin, F. S., Tomkins, J. L. & Simmons, L. W. 1 Jan 2017 In : Behavioral Ecology. 28, 1, p. 270-279 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Chlamydomonas flow data files

Seed, C. (Creator), Tomkins, J. (Creator), Dryad Digital Repository, 4 Oct 2016


Data from: Towards an evolutionary understanding of questing behaviour in the tick Ixodes ricinus

Tomkins, J. (Creator), Aungier, J. (Creator), Hazel, W. N. (Creator), Gilbert, L. (Creator), Dryad Digital Repository, 21 Oct 2014