PhD (University of Queensland)
Position: Associate Professor

Room: 360 Goddard Building 8
Phone: +61 7 3365 2773

Research Interests

My research group studies animal performance in the laboratory and in the field. We focus on discovering the underlying mechanistic basis of physical performance and it's implications for an individual's survival and reproductive success. We’re particularly interested in how organisms respond to environmental variation, such as seasonal or long-term temperature change, and the costs of these responses to other traits. We examine interactions between behavioural, physiological and morphological traits to better understand how animal performance is optimised. Furthermore, we want to understand how an organism’s performance relates to population-level processes, enabling better conservation practices in urban and wild habitats. Our research is question-driven, and we use a variety of model systems in our studies, including freshwater fish, crayfish, reptiles, marsupials, and humans.

Current projects

  • Importance of performance, life history and behaviour to male mating success in the semelparous marsupial the northern quoll

  • Relative importance of athleticism, skill and balance to success in complex human activities - focus on soccer players

  • When and why do animals lie? Testing hypotheses of deceit and discovering its role in determining animal performance

Selected Publications

David GK, Condon CK, Bywater CL, Ortiz-Barrientos D & Wilson RS. 2011. Receivers limit the prevalence of deception in humans: Evidence from diving behaviour in soccer players. PLoS ONE 6(10): e26017.

Wilson RS, Hammill E, Johnston IA. 2007. Competition moderates the benefits of thermal acclimation to reproductive performance in male eastern mosquitofish. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B 274: 1199-1204.

Wilson RS, Angilletta MJ, James RS, Navas C & Seebacher F. 2007. Dishonest signals of strength in male slender crayfish (Cherax dispar) during agonistic interactions. The American Naturalist 170: 284-291

Van Damme R, Wilson RS, Van Hooydonck B, & Aerts P. 2002. Performance constraints in decathletes. Nature 415: 755-756.



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