Welcome to SFU.ca.
You may scroll down to read this webage or upgrade your browser for free (download charges apply!)
*Windows, Linux & OS X:* FireFox http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/ (or Safari)
*Macintosh OS 8.5-9.22:* iCAB. http://www.icab.de/

Erica Jeffery (PhD Candidate)

Contact Info

Email: ejeffery@sfu.ca
Phone: +1.778.782.4512
Fax: +1.778.782.3496
Location: B 7250

Current Research

The purpose of my PhD project is to investigate the reproductive success of various male and female behaviours under different social and environmental conditions, using mosquitofish (Gambusia sp.) as my study system. Reproductive success measures an individual's ability to successfully transmit their genetic material to the next generation via offspring, and is influenced by the likelihood that an individual mates, the number of offspring an individual has, the quality of an individual's offspring, and many other factors.

In general, both males and females are expected to exhibit behaviours that attempt to maximize their reproductive success. However, a behaviour that increases an individual's reproductive success along one dimension (for example, an increase in the number of offspring) may also decrease the same individual's reproductive success along another dimension (for example, a decrease in the quality of those offspring). Often, one can conceive of many different ways in which individuals may use behaviour to attempt to maximize their reproductive success. Which alternative is the most efficient for any given individual is expected to depend on a variety of factors, including what possible mates (i.e., members of the opposite sex) are doing, as well as what possible competitors (i.e., members of the same sex) are doing.

Mosquitofish males are known to alternatively guard females from males, or sneak matings with females. By studying a species in which males demonstrate distinct, alternative behaviours during mating, I hope to learn more about the factors influencing the reproductive success of each male behaviour, as well as to determine under what conditions one would expect males to exhibit each of the behaviours. This work will combine empirical components (laboratory experiments) with complementary theoretical components -- in particular, state-dependent models that incorporate current theory regarding the dynamics of interactions between the sexes.

last updated fall 2010