Click on each publication to get more information (and pdfs):


P-J Guay, R Leppitt, MA Weston, TR Yeager, WFD van Dongen, MRE Symonds (2018) Are the big and beautiful less bold? Differences in avian fearfulness between the sexes in relation to body size and colour. Journal of Zoology in press

K McElroy, K Beattie, MRE Symonds, L Joseph (2018) Mitogenomic and nuclear diversity in the Mulga Parrot of the Australian arid zone: cryptic subspecies and tests for selection. Emu 118: 22-35


EJ Tan, CAM Reid, MRE Symonds, JA Jurado-Rivera, MA Elgar (2017) The role of life-history and ecology in the evolution of color patterns in Australian chrysomeline beetles. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 5: 140

TL Johnson, MRE Symonds, MA Elgar (2017b) Anticipatory flexibility: larval population density in moths determines male investment in antennae, wings and tests. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 284: 20172087

LK HodgkinMRE Symonds, MA Elgar (2017) Leadership through knowledge and experience in a social sawfly. Animal Behaviour 134: 177-181.

TL Johnson, MRE Symonds, MA Elgar (2017a) Sexual selection on receptor organ traits: younger females attract males with longer antennae. The Science of Nature 104: 44

J Ryeland, MRE Symonds, MA Weston (2017) Measurement techniques for curved shorebirds bills: a comparison of high-tech and low-tech methods. Wader Study 124: 49-54

J Ryeland, MA Weston, MRE Symonds (2017) Bill size mediates behavioural thermoregulation in birds. Functional Ecology 31: 885-893

GJ Tattersall, B Arnaout, MRE Symonds (2017) The evolution of the avian bill as a thermoregulatory organ. Biological Reviews 92: 1630-1656

MRE Symonds (2017) Statistical Methods in Biology: Design and Analysis of Experiments and Regression; by S,J. Welham, S.A. Gezan, S,J. Clark & A. Mead [book review]. Quarterly Review of Biology 92: 175-176


JL Gardner, MRE Symonds, L Joseph, K Ikin, J Stein, LEB Kruuk (2016) Spatial variation in avian bill size is associated with humidity in summer among Australian passerines. Climate Change Responses 3: 11

MRE Symonds, MA Weston, WFD Van Dongen, A Lill, RW Robinson, P-J Guay (2016) Time since urbanisation but not encephalisation is associated with increased tolerance of human proximity in birds. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 4: 117.

KR Ashman, KB McNamara, MRE Symonds (2016) Experimental evolution reveals that population density does not affect moth signalling behaviour and antennal morphology. Evolutionary Ecology 30: 1009-1021

APA Cardilini, KL Buchanan, CDH Sherman, P Cassey, MRE Symonds (2016) Tests of ecogeographical relationships in a non-native species: what rules avian morphology? Oecologia 181: 783-793

MRE Symonds, CW Gitau-Clarke (2016) The evolution of aggregation pheromone diversity in bark beetles. Advances in Insect Physiology 50: 195-234


DJE Campbell-Tennant, JL Gardner, MR Kearney, MRE Symonds (2015) Climate-related spatial and temporal variation in bill morphology over the past century in Australian parrots. Journal of Biogeography 42: 1163-1175

KDL Umbers, MRE Symonds, H Kokko (2015) The mothematics of female pheromone signalling: strategies for ageing virgins. American Naturalist 185: 417-432

OM Grace, S Buerki, MRE Symonds, F Forest, AE Van Wyk, GF Smith, RR Klopper, CS Bjora, S Neale, S Demissew, MSJ Simmonds, N Rønsted (2015) Evolutionary history and leaf succulence as explanations for medicinal use in aloes and the global popularity of Aloe veraBMC Evolutionary Biology 15: 29

BP Shiel, CDH Sherman, MA Elgar, TL Johnson, MRE Symonds (2015) Investment in sensory structures, testis size and wing coloration in males of a diurnal moth species: trade-offs or correlated growth? Ecology and Evolution 5: 1061-1068


TM Jones, KV Fanson, R Lanfear, MRE Symonds, M Higgie (2014) Gender differences in conference presentations: a consequence of self-selection? PeerJ 2: e627

LK Hodgkin, MRE Symonds, MA Elgar (2014) Leaders benefit followers in the collective movement of a social sawfly. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 281: 20141700

MRE Symonds, SP Blomberg (2014) A primer on phylogenetic generalised least squares (PGLS). In: Modern Phylogenetic Comparative Methods and Their Application in Evolutionary Biology: Concepts and Practice (ed. LZ Garamszegi), Chapter 5, pp.105-130. Springer, Berlin.

MRE Symonds  (2014) Lecturing and other face-to-face teaching – too much or too little? An assessment based on student feedback and fail rates. Higher Education Research and Development 33: 1221-1231.

MRE Symonds, MA Weston, RW Robinson, P-J Guay (2014) Comparative analysis of classic brain component sizes in relation to flightiness in birds. PLoS ONE 9: e91960


MRE Symonds, MA Elgar (2013) The evolution of body size, antennal size and host use in parasitoid wasps (Hymenoptera: Chalcidoidea): a phylogenetic comparative analysis. PLoS ONE 8: e78297

P-J Guay, RDA Lorenz, RW Robinson, MRE Symonds, MA Weston (2013) Distance from water, sex and approach direction influence flight distances among habituated black swans. Ethology 119: 552-558

TS Jessop, R Woodford, MRE Symonds (2013) Macrostress: do large-scale ecological patterns exist in the glucocorticoid stress response of vertebrates? Functional Ecology 27: 120-130

P-J Guay, MA Weston, MRE Symonds, HK Glover (2013) Brains and bravery: Little evidence of a relationship between brain size and flightiness in shorebirds. Austral Ecology 28: 516-522

I-P Chen, MRE Symonds, J Melville, D Stuart-Fox (2013) Factors shaping the evolution of colour patterns in Australian agamid lizards (Agamidae): a comparative study. Biological Journal of the LInnean Society 109: 101-112


N Rønsted, MRE Symonds, T Birkholm, SB Christensen, AW Meerow, M Molander, P Mølgaard, G Petersen, R Rasmussen, J Van Staden, GI Stafford, AK Jäger (2012) Can phylogeny predict chemical diversity and potential medicinal activity in plants? A case study of Amaryllidaceae. BMC Evolutionary Biology 12: 182

I-P Chen, D Stuart-Fox, AF Hugall, MRE Symonds (2012) Sexual selection and the evolution of complex color patterns in dragon lizards, Evolution 66: 3605-3614

MRE Symonds, TL Johnson, MA Elgar (2012) Pheromone production, male abundance, body size and the evolution of elaborate antennae in moths. Ecology and Evolution 2: 227-246

MRE Symonds, MJL Magrath, TM Latty (2012) Reproductive consequences of male arrival order in the bark beetle Ips grandicollis. Journal of Insect Behavior 25: 401-407


MRE Symonds, A Moussalli (2011) A brief guide to model selection, multimodel inference and model averaging in behavioural ecology using Akaike’s Information Criterion, Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 65: 13-21

E Van Wilgenburg*, MRE Symonds* (*joint first authors), MA Elgar (2011) Evolution of cuticular hydrocarbon diversity in ants. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 24: 1188-1198.

MA Bassett, JB Baumgartner, MA Hallett, Y Hassan, MRE Symonds (2011) Effects of humidity on the response of the bark beetle Ips grandicollis (Eichhoff) (Coleoptera:Curculionidae:Scolytinae) to synthetic aggregation pheromone. Australian Journal of Entomology 50: 48-51.


MRE Symonds, GJ Tattersall (2010) Geographical variation in bill size across bird species provides evidence for Allen’s rule, American Naturalist 176: 188-197.

LK Hodgkin, MA Elgar, MRE Symonds (2010) Positive and negative effects of phoretic mite species on the reproductive output of an invasive bark beetle. Australian Journal of Zoology 58 (2010), 198-204.


MRE Symonds, A Moussalli, MA Elgar (2009) The mode of evolution of sex pheromones in an ecological diverse genus of flies. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 97: 594-603.

TM Latty, MJL Magrath, MRE Symonds (2009) Harem size and oviposition behaviour in a polygynous bark beetle. Ecological Entomology 34 (2009), 562-568.

LZ Garamszegi, S Calhim, N Dochtermann, G Hegyi, PL Hurd, C Jorgensen, N Kutsukake, MJ Lajeunesse, KA Pollard, H Schielzeth, MRE Symonds, S Nakagawa (2009) Changing philosophies and tools for statistical inference in behavioral ecology. Behavioral Ecology 20: 1363-1375.


MRE Symonds, MA Elgar (2008) The evolution of pheromone diversity. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 23: 220-228.

MRE Symonds, CN Johnson (2008) Species richness and evenness in Australian birds. American Naturalist 171: 480-490.


MRE Symonds, CN Johnson (2006) Range size-abundance relationships in Australian passerines. Global Ecology and Biogeography 15: 143-152.

MRE Symonds, NJ Gemmell, TL Braisher, KL Gorringe, MA Elgar (2006) Gender differences in publication output: towards an unbiased metric of research performance. PLoS ONE 2: e127.

MRE Symonds, CN Johnson (2006) Determinants of local abundance in a major radiation of Australian passerines (Aves: Meliphagoidea). Journal of Biogeography 33: 794-802.

MRE Symonds, L Christidis, CN Johnson (2006) Latitudinal gradients in abundance, and the causes of rarity in the tropics: a test using Australian honeyeaters (Aves: Meliphagidae). Oecologia 149: 406-417.


MRE Symonds (2005) Phylogeny and life histories of the ‘Insectivora’: controversies and consequences. Biological Reviews 80: 93-128.

TL Braisher, MRE Symonds, NJ Gemmell (2005) Publication success in Nature and Science is not gender dependent. BioEssays 27: 858-859.

MRE Symonds, B Wertheim (2005) The mode of evolution of aggregation pheromones in Drosophila species. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 18: 1253-1263.


MRE Symonds, MA Elgar (2004) The mode of pheromone evolution: evidence from bark beetles. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 271: 839-846.

MRE Symonds, MA Elgar (2004) Species overlap, speciation and the evolution of aggregation pheromones in bark beetles. Ecology Letters 7: 202-212.

MRE Symonds (2004) Nature and Science know best. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 19: 564.

GS Gage, M de L Brooke, MRE Symonds, DL Wege (2004) Ecological correlates of the threat of extinction in Neotropical bird species. Animal Conservation 7: 161-168.

BT Bjorkman-Chiswell, MM Kulinski, RL Muscat, KL Nguyen, BA Norton, MRE Symonds, GE Westhorpe, MA Elgar (2004) Web-building spiders attract prey by storing decaying matter. Naturwissenschaften 91: 245-248


MRE Symonds (2002) The effects of topological inaccuracy in evolutionary trees on the phylogenetic comparative method of independent contrasts. Systematic Biology 51: 541-553.

MRE Symonds, MA Elgar (2002) Phylogeny affects estimation of metabolic scaling in mammals. Evolution 56: 2330-2333.


MRE Symonds (1999) Life histories of the Insectivora: the role of phylogeny, metabolism and sex differences. Journal of Zoology 249: 315-337.

MRE Symonds (1999) Insectivore life histories: further evidence against an optimum body size for mammals. Functional Ecology 13: 508-513.


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