My research group tackles problems in the general area of sexual selection with particular focus on sperm competition and the evolution of sperm morphology and behaviour as well as mate choice, mating systems, and the evolution of ornamental traits like plumage colours. Potential graduate students and postdocs should write directly to me by email to mont[at]queensu.ca.
Bird plumage colours How do colours reflect the phenotypic and genetic quality of individuals? We ask how colours are related to social interactions, reproductive success, mate choice and parental care. Pending funding in the spring of 2013, wewill be investigating both the ability of birds to disriminate colours in different setting, and the effects of the colours themselves on a bird's behaviour
Sperm Competition and sperm evolution We have been studying the structure and behaviour of sperm from birds, fishes, snakes, and frogs to see if intense sperm competition resulted in the evolution of sperm traits that would make individual males more competitive. We ask how sperm structure and behaviour influence male reproductive success.
Human mate choice and attractiveness Using computer-manipulated images and voices, we ask how variation in signal structure influences mate preferences.
History of Science I am particularly interested in the interplay between tools and ideas in the development of science, especially with respect to sperm biology and ornithology. Our book on the modern history of ornithology will be published earkly in 2014 by Princeton Univ Press—details HERE.