Jess Isden



College: College of Life and Environmental Sciences
Research Centre/Unit: Centre for Research in Animal Behaviour

I am interested in complex avian sexual signals, why they vary within a species and what information they provide to the receiver. I study the evolutionary mechanisms which may have led to the use of multiple sexual cues and variation in female choice in an Australian bird, the spotted bowerbird. Before starting my PhD at the University of Exeter, I carried out extensive fieldwork studies in Tanzania and South Africa, and have experience in working in extreme environments, from coral reefs to deserts. I developed a strong interest in the evolution and expression of avian elaborate male traits, and my PhD research now focuses on the extraordinary courtship behaviour of spotted bowerbirds. I work with a wild population in Central Queensland, Australia, where I am investigating the role of cognitive and social mechanisms in male courtship success.