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

    6009 Perth


  • 12329 Citations
  • 62 h-Index
1992 …2022
If you made any changes in Pure these will be visible here soon.

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.

Available now

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.

Teaching overview

Behavioural Ecology (ANIM3365)
Evolutionary Biology (ANIM5502)


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

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Leigh Simmons is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • 7 Similar Profiles
sperm competition Agriculture & Biology
sperm Earth & Environmental Sciences
cricket Earth & Environmental Sciences
Gryllidae Agriculture & Biology
Spermatozoa Medicine & Life Sciences
spermatozoa Agriculture & Biology
Onthophagus taurus Agriculture & Biology
dung beetles Agriculture & Biology

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 1992 2019

2 Citations (Scopus)

Experimental evolution reveals divergence in female genital teeth morphology in response to sexual conflict intensity in a moth

McNamara, K. B., Dougherty, L. R., Wedell, N. & Simmons, L. W., 1 May 2019, In : Journal of Evolutionary Biology. 32, 5, p. 519-524 6 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

sexual conflict
female genitalia
2 Citations (Scopus)

Female cuticular hydrocarbons can signal indirect fecundity benefits in an insect

Berson, J. D. & Simmons, L. W., 1 May 2019, In : Evolution. 73, 5, p. 982-989 8 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)

Female genitalia can evolve more rapidly and divergently than male genitalia

Simmons, L. & Fitzpatrick, J. L., 21 Mar 2019, In : Nature Communications. 10, 1312.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Male Genitalia
Female Genitalia

Male responses to sperm competition when rivals vary in number and familiarity

Lymbery, S. J., Tomkins, J. L. & Simmons, L. W., 30 Jan 2019, In : Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 286, 1895, 20182589.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

sperm competition
kin recognition

Male semelparity and multiple paternity confirmed in an arid-zone dasyurid

Hayes, G. L. T., Simmons, L. W., Dugand, R. J., Mills, H. R., Roberts, J. D., Tomkins, J. L. & Fisher, D. O., 21 Apr 2019, In : Journal of Zoology.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

arid zones
litters (young animals)

Projects 1996 2022