My research is both field and lab based and combines tightly controlled experiments with phylogenetic comparative analyses. But generally I prefer to mix these approaches depending on the research question being asked.
RESEAERCH IN MY GROUP CURRENTLY FOCUSES ON:
SEXUAL SELECTION AND THE EVOLUTION OF FEMALE PROMISCUITY AND MALE SEXUAL BEHAVIOURS AND TRAITS
Females mate with multiple males in most animal species, which has important evolutionary consequences. We are using phylogenetic comparative analyses to explore how variation in female promiscuity influences the evolution of male sexual behaviours and traits. This work focuses on sharks, rays, Tanganyikan cichlids, and fishes generally, social insects, marine mammals, and mammals generally. We are currently exploring how co-evolutionary dynamics between males and females influence the evolution of testes, sperm, genitals and female remating rates.
TRADE-OFFS IN PRE- AND POST-COPULATORY SEXUAL BEHAVIOURS AND TRAITS
When it comes to sex you can’t have it all. Animals must balance their investment in behaviours and traits important before and after mating. My lab tries to understand how animals balance the competing demands of sex by exploring macro-evolutionary patterns across a wide range of taxonomic groups and experimentally using guppies and crickets.
THE EVOLUTIONARY IMPACTS OF REDUCTIONS IN GENETIC DIVERSITY
Does genetic diversity matter? My lab studies the impacts of reduced genetic diversity on sexual behaviours and traits in small or isolated populations.
SPERM COMPETITION AND ALTERNATIVE REPRODUCTIVE TACTICS
Not all males use the same behaviours to reproduce. In some species, larger males court and guard females to secure fertilizations, while other smaller sneaker males perform sneaky fertilizations. Research in my lab examines the reproductive consequences of these different mating behaviours, focusing on African cichlids, freshwater gobies and intertidal marine fish.
INTERESTED IN OUR RESEARCH?
We have projects available studying trade-offs in sexually selected behaviorus and traits in halfbeak fish, as well as a broad range of comparative studies focusing on sexual selection. If you are interested in joining my lab at the Masters, PhD or Post-doc level please send me an email explaining your research interests.
2014-Present: Editor for Behavioral Ecology
2011-2015: Board of Reviewing Editors for Journal of Evolutionary Biology
You can find a full list of my publications here:
Some highlight publications of my main research interests include:
Simmons, L.W. & Fitzpatrick, J.L. 2016. Sperm competition and the coevolution of pre- and post-copulatory traits: weapons evolve faster than testes among onthophagine dung beetles. Evolution 70: 998-1008.
Fitzpatrick, J.L., Earn, D.J.D., Bucking, C., Craig, P.M., Nadella, S., Wood, C.M., & Balshine, S. 2016. Postcopulatory consequences of female mate choice in a fish with alternative male reproductive tactics. Behavioural Ecology 27: 312-320.
Lüpold, S. & Fitzpatrick, J.L. 2015. Sperm number trumps sperm size in mammalian ejaculate evolution. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 282:20152122.
Lüpold, S., Tomkins, J.L., Simmons, L.W., & Fitzpatrick, J.L. 2014. Female monopolization mediates the relationship between pre- and postcopulatory sexual traits. Nature Communications 5 (3184).
Fitzpatrick J.L. & Evans J.P.E. 2014. Postcopulatory inbreeding avoidance in guppies. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 27: 2585-2594.
Fitzpatrick J.L. & Lüpold S. 2014. Sexual selection and the evolution of sperm quality. Molecular Human Reproduction 20: 1180-1189.
Fitzpatrick, J.L., Almbro, M., Gonzalez-Voyer, A., Kolm, N., & Simmons, L.W. 2012. Male contest competition and the coevolution of weaponry and testes in pinnipeds. Evolution 66(11), 3595-3604.
Evans, J.P., Garcia-Gonzalez, F., Almbro, M., Robinson, O., & Fitzpatrick, J.L. 2012. Assessing the potential for egg chemoattractants to mediate sexual selection in a broadcast spawning marine invertebrate. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 279, 2855-2861.
Fitzpatrick, J.L., Kempster, R., Daly-Engel, T.S., Collin, S.P., & Evans, J.P. 2012. Assessing the potential for postcopulatory sexual selection in elasmobranchs. Journal of Fish Biology 80(5), 1141-1158.
Simmons, L.W. & Fitzpatrick, J.L. 2012. Sperm wars and the evolution of male fertility. Reproduction 144(5), 519-534.
Fitzpatrick, J.L. & Baer B. 2011. Polyandry reduces sperm length variation in social insects. Evolution 65: 3006-3012.
Fitzpatrick, J.L., Montgomerie, R., Desjardins, J.K., Stiver, K.A., Kolm, N., & Balshine, S. 2009. Female promiscuity promotes the evolution of faster sperm in cichlid fishes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 106: 1128-1132.
Fitzpatrick, J.L. & Evans, J.P. 2009. Reduced heterozygosity impairs sperm quality in endangered mammals. Biology Letters 5: 320-323.
Fitzpatrick, J.L., Desjardins, J.K., Stiver, K.A., Montgomerie, R., & Balshine, S. 2008. Female mediated cause and consequences of status change in a social fish. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 275: 929-936.
Gonzalez-Voyer, A., Fitzpatrick, J.L., & Kolm, N. 2008. Sexual selection governs parental care patterns in cichlid fish. Evolution 62: 2015-2026.
Leigh W. Simmons, John L. Fitzpatrick. 2016. Sperm competition and the coevolution of pre- and postcopulatory traits - Weapons evolve faster than testes among onthophagine dung beetles. Evolution 70: 998-1008.
Stefan Lüpold, Joseph L Tomkins, Leigh W Simmons, John L Fitzpatrick. 2014. Female monopolization mediates the relationship between pre- and postcopulatory sexual traits. Nature Communications 5.
Luisa J Fitzpatrick, Clelia Gasparini, John L Fitzpatrick, Jonathan P Evans. 2014. Male-female relatedness and patterns of male reproductive investment in guppies. Biology Letters 10.
J L Fitzpatrick, J P Evans. 2014. Postcopulatory inbreeding avoidance in guppies. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 27.
Jennifer L Kelley, John L Fitzpatrick, Sami Merilaita. 2013. Spots and stripes - ecology and colour pattern evolution in butterflyfishes. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B, Biological Sciences 280.
J. L. Fitzpatrick, M. Almbro, A. Gonzalez-Voyer, S. Hamada, C. Pennington, J. Scanlan, Niclas Kolm. 2012. Sexual selection uncouples the evolution of brain and body size in pinnipeds. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 25: 1321-1330.
J. L. Fitzpatrick, M. Almbro, A. Gonzalez-Voyer, Niclas Kolm, L. W. Simmons. 2012. Male Contest Competition And The Coevolution Of Weaponry And Testes In Pinnipeds. Evolution 66: 3595-3604.
John L Fitzpatrick, Boris Baer. 2011. Polyandry reduces sperm length variation in social insects. Evolution 65.
John L. Fitzpatrick, Robert Montgomerie, Julie K. Desjardins, Kelly A. Stiver, Niclas Kolm, Sigal Balshine. 2009. Female promiscuity promotes the evolution of faster sperm in cichlid fishes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 106: 1128-1132.
Alejandro Gonzalez-Voyer, John L. Fitzpatrick, Niclas Kolm. 2008. Sexual selection determines parental care patterns in cichlid fishes. Evolution 62: 2015-2026.
J L Fitzpatrick, J K Desjardins, N Milligan, K A Stiver, R Montgomerie, S Balshine. 2008. Female-mediated causes and consequences of status change in a social fish. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B, Biological Sciences 275.