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

    6009 Crawley


  • 10932 Citations
  • 57 h-Index
1992 …2022
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Personal profile


I received my PhD from Nottingham University in 1986 and held a series of postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Liverpool until 1995 when I moved to UWA. I received an ARC Federation Fellowship in 2004 and was elected to the Australian Academy in 2009. I am Editor-in-Chief of the journal Behavioral Ecology, Editor of Advances in the Study of Behavior, and on the editorial board of Journal of Ethology.

My research uses both vertebrates and invertebrates to test the predictions and assumptions of theoretical models of sexual selection and life history evolution.
I currently hold two ARC Discovery Project grants that fund research into sperm competition and the evolution of multiple mating by females using insects, mice and frogs as model systems. I am also engaged in research on sexual selection on humans. Collectively, these research programs seek to determine the direction and strength of selection acting on male and female reproductive strategies, and on the morphological and life history traits that contribute to fitness, from the whole organism to its gametes. My lab currently hosts collaborative research programs involving 7 PhD students and 6 postdoctoral researchers, and has hosted research fellows from Sweden, Finland, Spain, Switzerland and the UK. Opportunities are available for researchers at all levels, and I encourage interested individuals to apply under the schemes outlined on our Courses page.

Coming Soon: Release date 23 August 2018

Sexual Selection: A Vert Short Introduction. By Marlene Zuk and Leigh W Simmons. Oxford University Press, Oxford.


Funding overview

Current Funding

ARC Discovery Project (2016-2019). Paternal effects: non-genetic inheritance via seminal fluid?

ARC Discovery Project (2017-2019). Evolution of the mammalian baculum.

Associate Investigator

ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders

Teaching overview

Behavioural Ecology (ANIM3365)
Evolutionary Biology (ANIM5502)


  • Behavioural ecology
  • Evolutionary biology
  • Sperm competition
  • Sexual selection
  • Entomology
  • Insects
  • Evolutionary psychology

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

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Projects 1996 2022

Research Output 1992 2018

5 Citations

Experimental manipulation reveals a trade-off between weapons and testes

Somjee, U., Miller, C., Tatarnic, N. J. & Simmons, L. W., Jan 2018, In : Journal of Evolutionary Biology. 31, 1, p. 57-65

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

resource allocation

Perceived physical strength in men is attractive to women but may come at a cost to ejaculate quality

Foo, Y. Z., Simmons, L. W., Peters, M. & Rhodes, G., 1 Aug 2018, In : Animal Behaviour. 142, p. 191-197 7 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

mating success
sexual selection
1 Citations
sperm competition
phenotypic plasticity
Mus musculus

Population density mediates the interaction between pre- and postmating sexual selection

McCullough, E. L., Buzatto, B. A. & Simmons, L. W., 1 Apr 2018, In : Evolution. 72, 4, p. 893-905 13 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Population Density
sexual selection
population density

Social manipulation of sperm competition intensity reduces seminal fluid gene expression

Sloan, N. S., Lovegrove, M. & Simmons, L. W., 1 Jan 2018, In : Biology Letters. 14, 1, 20170659

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
sperm competition
Health Expenditures
Gene Expression
gene expression