Renee Firman

Dr, BSc PhD W.Aust.

  • 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 am an Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellow (tenured Senior Lecturer from April 2024) working in the field of evolutionary and behavioural ecology. I am interested in exploring theories of sex allocation, sociality and sexual selection. I use a number of different approaches to study furry animals, including rodents and marsupials, in both the field and the lab. Through supervising student projects, I also work on less furry animals, including birds and reptiles. I place a strong focus on generating conservation-based outcomes. For example, I am dedicated to understanding how increased ambient temperatures influence sex allocation outcomes and ultimately population dynamics. I am also exploring how behavioural responses may assist our native rodents in coping with Australia's changing climate.

Current projects

1. Adaptive sex allocation and sperm sex ratios (ARC Future Fellowship)

Primary collaborator: Assoc Prof Paco Garcia-Gonzalez, Donaña Biological Station, Sevilla, Spain

2. Behavioural resilience to climatic variation in pebble mound mice (ARC DP)

Primary collaborator: Prof Dustin Rubenstein, Columbia University, New York City, USA

3. Postmating sexual selection in house mice

Primary collaborator: Prof Leigh Simmons, University of Western Australia

4. Night song in Willie wagtails

Primary collaborator: Assoc Prof Mandy Ridley, University of Western Australia

Student projects:

- Aging, sperm sncRNA expression and fertility in human males

- Investigating sex ratio skews in a captive bred threatened marsupial

- The impact of bandicoots as ecosystem engineers on Dirk Hartog Island

- The Greater Stick-Nest Rat (Leporillus conditor): investigating stick-nest properties, habitat use and population dynamics at Mt Gibson sanctuary in Western Australia

- Quantifying shell hardness in Western Swamp Tortoise: implications for the Perth Zoo breeding program

Funding overview

Total funding (all sources): $2,000,000

Key projects:

2022-2025 Australian Research Council Discovery Project: $360,000

2019-2024 Australian Research Council Future Fellowship: $760,000

2014-2018 Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award: $393,000

2013 Fortescue Metals Group Pty. Ltd. Research Contribution: $50,000

2010-2012 Australian Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship and Discovery Project (APD): $390,000

Previous positions

2019-2024 Australian Research Council Future Fellow (UWA)

2014-2018 Australian Research Council DECRA Fellow (UWA)

2013 UWA Centre for Evolutionary Biology Postdoctoral Researcher (UWA)

2010-2012 Australian Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow (UWA)

2009 Centre for Evolutionary Biology Postdoctoral Researcher (UWA)

Roles and responsibilities

2023 Australasian Evolution Society Vice President Elect

2015-2021 UWA Animal Ethics Committee category B member

2015-2021 Perth Zoo Research Committee UWA representative

Teaching overview


ANIM5110 Biology of Australian Marsupials (primary coordinator/lecturer)

ANIM3353 Wildlife Conservation and Management (co-coordinator)

ANIM3365 Behavioural Ecology (lecturer)

ANIM5502 Evolutionary Ecology (student group leader)


ANIM2227 Animal Form and Function (co-coordinator/lecturer)

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 15 - Life on Land

External positions

Vice President Elect, Australasian Evolution Society

1 Jan 202331 Dec 2023

Research expertise keywords

  • Adaptive sex allocation
  • Sperm sex ratios
  • Sociality
  • Sexual selection
  • Climate change
  • Global warming
  • Sperm biology: morphology, motility, viability, fertility, preservation
  • Animal behaviour
  • Reproduction
  • Native rodents
  • Marsupial biology
  • Wildlife conservation


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