And ever the twain shall meet: An exposé of sexual differences in the animal kingdom

Presented by ANU College of Health & Medicine

Daphne Fairbairn is an evolutionary biologist who has written widely on the ecology and evolution of differences between the sexes in the animal kingdom. She is author of a recent book on that topic, Odd Couples. Extraordinary Differences between the Sexes in the Animal Kingdom (Princeton, 2013) and co-editor of another, Sex, Size & Gender Roles. Evolutionary Studies of Sexual Size Dimorphism (Oxford, 2007). She has also author or co-author of numerous scientific articles, book chapters, book reviews and articles in the popular press, and co-editor of an earlier book, Evolutionary Ecology. Concepts & Case Studies (Oxford, 2001). The majority of her research aims to discern how and why male and female animals differ, but her studies have also encompassed other topics in evolutionary ecology, including the evolution and ecological impact of migratory strategies, population demography and population genetic structure. In addition to her research, she is currently President of the Society for the Study of Evolution, and has served as Editor-in-Chief for the journal Evolution and as North American Editor for the Journal of Evolutionary Biology. She is a recipient of the Carleton University Medal in Science (1971) and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Fairbairn was born in Ottawa, Canada and received a B.Sc. (with honors) in Biology from Carleton University and a Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of British Columbia. She spent much of her career as a Professor of Biology at Concordia University in Montreal but moved to the University of California Riverside in 2001, where she is currently a Professor of Biology and member of the graduate program in Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology.