Potential Projects

Please contact Kate Barry regarding potential masters and PhD projects (see HDR page for scholarship details). Of particular interest are projects related to sexual cannibalism and male mate choice in praying mantids, but any project focusing on the mating behaviour of a terrestrial invertebrate will be considered.


Dr Kate Barry's contact details...

office: E8B205                                                    
phone: 61 2 9850 8267                                                                                                    twitter: @InsectMatingSys




Here are some ideas...

Argiope keyserlingi.jpg

Costs of sexual cannibalism in praying mantids 
- do aggressive females remain unmated? Or does one of the multiple males attracted to the first pheromone plume always mate with the female? 
- are males likely to mate multiple times in the wild? If not, is cannibalism less costly for males than previously thought? 

Male mating strategies in sexually cannibalistic mantids 
- what are the circumstances under which males will act on information regarding the likelihood of female aggression and subsequently reject dangerous females? 
- do cannibalised males increase their ejaculate expenditure given the lack of future mating opportunities?
- do cannibalised males increase their ejaculate expenditure with increased male competition?
- is there a refractory period for sperm production in males and what effect does this have on reproductive output? 

Comprehensive field studies of cannibalistic mantids 
- how does the data compiled in semi-natural studies compare to field data?

The evolution of monogyny in spiders (co-supervised by Marie Herberstein)

- explain the evolutionary maintenance of different mating systems by comparing and manipulating sex-ratio and male size in monogynous and polygynous mating systems.