Devi Stuart-Fox
Evolutionary Biology
Research Group
Evolution & Behaviour
Room 252
Tel +61 3 83444846

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Please visit the Stuart-Fox Lab page

I completed a Bachelor of Science in 1996 and Bachelor of Science (Hons) in 1998 at the University of Queensland. I began my research career with projects on phylogeography and molecular systematics of lizards under the supervision of Craig Moritz. I then did a PhD on natural and sexual selection on colour patterns in a group of dragon lizards (1999-2002) at the University of Queensland under the supervision of Ian Owens, Greg Johnston and Justin Marshall. Having developed a fascination for the evolution of animal visual signals, I did a postdoc with Martin Whiting at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa on colour change in dwarf chameleons. I spent four years (2003-2006) in South Africa then moved to Melbourne to take up an ARC postdoctoral fellowship (2007-2009) and faculty position at the University of Melbourne. I am currently a Senior lecturer and ARC Australian Research Fellow (2010-2014).

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My primary research interests are the evolutionary processes generating new species (speciation) and the adaptive significance of animal colour patterns. Specific areas of research have included the adaptive significance and evolution of colour change; the evolution and maintenance of colour polymorphism and its role in speciation; how the environment affects the evolution of visual signals; the evolution of female ornamentation; the dynamics of contest behaviour; and the evolution of reproductive strategies and multiple mating. I primarily work on lizards but have dabbled in research on squid, birds and fish.

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Students & Postdocs


Viviana Cadena (Sept 2012-


Current PhD students

Katie Smith (Mar 2013 -) 

Luisa Teasdale (Mar 2012-, co-supervisor) 

Maddy Yewers (Jul 2011-)

Maggie Haines (Jul 2010-)

Claire Mclean (Jul 2010-)

Danielle Klomp (University of New South Wales, co-supervisor, Feb 2012-)

Marleen Baling (Massey University, NZ, co-supervisor, Feb 2011-)


Current MSc students

Katrina Rankin (Jan 2013)

Samantha Walker (Jul 2012)              

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Animal Behaviour
Experimental Animal Behaviour
Australian Wildlife Biology

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Masters of Science (Zoology) Co-ordinator with  Dr Tim Dempster

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Google Scholar Profile

Selected publications

Hugall, A.F. and Stuart-Fox, D.  2012. Accelerated speciation in colour-polymorphic birds. Nature 485: 631–634 (31 May 2012) doi:10.1038/nature11050

Rosenthal, G. and Stuart-Fox D. 2012. Environmental disturbance and animal communication. In Wong, BBM and Candolin, U. Behavioural responses to a changing world: mechanisms and consequences. Pp. 16-31. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK

Stuart-Fox, D. and Moussalli, A. 2009. Camouflage, communication and thermoregulation: lessons from colour changing organisms. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B. 364:463-470.

Stuart-Fox, D. and Moussalli, A. 2008. Selection for conspicuous social signals drives the evolution of chameleon colour change. PLoS Biology: 6(1): e25-e32.

Stuart-Fox, D. Moussalli, A. and Whiting, M. J. 2007. Natural selection on social signals: signal efficacy and the evolution of chameleon display coloration. American Naturalist 170: 916-930.

Stuart-Fox, D. 2006. Testing game theory models: fighting ability and decision rules in chameleon contests. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 273: 1555-1561.

Stuart-Fox, D. M. and Ord, T. J. 2004. Sexual selection, natural selection and the evolution of dimorphic coloration and ornamentation in agamid lizards. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 271: 2249-2255.

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Further Publications: PubMed Search

Last modified: 24 July 2013