Dr. Bob Wong

Associate Professor and Research Group Leader

Bob’s research focuses on the mechanisms of sexual selection and parental care, and how human-induced environmental changes influence behaviour. Bob’s research encompasses a wide range of species but he has a particular soft spot for fish. Bob is an editor of Behavioral Ecology, a member of the board of reviewing editors for The Journal of Evolutionary Biology, and the Secretary of the International Society for Behavioral Ecology.

Dr. Topi Lehtonen

Research Associate, 2017-present

Topi is currently working on sexual selection and parental care in fish. This is his third stint in the Wong lab, having previously been funded by a joint Academy of Finland and Finnish Cultural Foundation grant.


Dr. Minna Saaristo

Research Associate, 2016-present

Minna’s research in behavioural ecotoxicology explores the impact of anthropogenic contamination on animal mating systems. Minna is employed in the Wong lab under a grant from the Australian Research Council. Prior to undertaking her current position, Minna was an Academy of Finland postdoctoral researcher.

Annalise Naimo

PhD student, 2017-current (co-supervised with Dr. David Chapple) 

Annalise will be investigating behavioural syndromes and the pace-of-life syndrome in native and introduced populations of the delicate skink.

Christopher Freelance

PhD student, 2017-current (co-supervised with Prof. Mark Elgar, University of Melbourne) 

Chris completed his Master of Science (Zoology) at University of Melbourne investigated the impacts of artificial light at night on body pigmentation, antennal investment and brain melatonin & oxidative stress in insects. For his PhD, Chris is exploring how environmental factors drive the evolution of insect sensory systems, how diversity in antennal morphology influences the ability to detect and respond behaviourally to signals, and how this relationship between detection and behaviour is altered in the presence of endocrine disrupting chemicals. This research will unveil ways in which communication in insects may be impacted by and evolve in response to anthropogenically induced environmental changes.

Jake Martin

PhD student, 2016-current (co-supervised with Dr. Minna Saaristo) 

Jake completed his undergraduate degree at Monash University in 2014, with a double major in zoology and freshwater and marine biology. The following year he continued into Honours, investigating the effects of the psychiatric pollutant fluoxetine on the antipredator behaviour of the Eastern mosquitofish (Gambusia holbrooki). At the beginning of 2016 he commenced his PhD candidature. Jake will continue his work on the pharmaceutical pollutant fluoxetine, addressing the impacts on a range of behavioral, morphological, physiological traits, at both short-term and evolutionary temporal scales.

Anna Senior

PhD Student, 2015-current (co-supervised with Dr. David Chapple).

Anna completed her honours at the University of Wollongong in 2011, investigating competitive interactions between an invasive weed (bitou bush) and the native vegetation community, and how these interactions may be moderated by invasive induced changes in the soil microbial community. She returned to research in 2015, starting her PhD at Monash University. For her PhD research, Anna is investigating similar broad ecological themes, this time in fauna. Specifically, she is interested in how the persistence of species is influenced by key threatening processes (habitat clearing and climate change) acting on ecological processes such as dispersal and intraspecific interactions. Combining field based observations, genomic and behavioural approaches, Anna’s research will utilise examples from rare and little-studied Australian reptile communities.

Michael Bertram

PhD student, 2014–current (co-supervised with Dr. Minna Saaristo)

Michael completed a BA/BSc at Monash University in 2012, majoring in Psychology and Zoology, respectively. This was followed by an Honours year investigating the impacts of endocrine disrupting chemicals on reproductive behaviour and morphology in the guppy (Poecilia reticulata). Michael has continued this research and is presently undertaking a PhD examining the effects of sex-reversing endocrine disrupting pollutants released from agricultural operations on freshwater fish, including the guppy and the eastern mosquitofish (Gambusia holbrooki). This research utilises a multidisciplinary approach and considers the impacts of endocrine disrupting pollutants on various fitness-related measures, including behaviour, morphology, physiology and histopathology. More generally, Michael is interested in investigating the ecological and evolutionary consequences arising from the potential of trace environmental contaminants to alter fitness-related traits in animals.

Patrick Tomkins

PhD student, 2013current (co-supervised with Dr. Minna Saaristo)

Pat completed honours in 2012 at Monash investigating the effects of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) on mosquitofish. Pat decided to continue with this line of research in 2013 and is currently carrying out a PhD looking at the effects of androgenic pollutants on mating behaviour and reproductive morphology in fish.

Nicholas Deal

PhD student, 2012current (co-supervised with Prof. Hanna Kokko, Australian National University)

Nick finished his undergraduate degree at Monash in 2011 where he did honours research on filial cannibalism. In 2012, Nick began his PhD, which combines both experimental studies and mathematical modelling to help understand how male investment into parental care is affected by female mate choice. For this, Nick has travelled from his base at Monash to Townsville, Queensland to study water bugs and to Finland to work on sand gobies.

Noriyoshi Kawasaki

PhD student, 2009current (co-supervised with 
Dr. Anne Peters and Dr. James Bourne, Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute)

Nori completed his honours project on ageing in a native Australian fly at the University of NSW. He worked as a research assistant on flies and crickets, and also volunteered as a field assistant on the reproductive behaviour of tropical birds in Darwin before commencing his PhD at Monash. Currently he is investigating cooperative behaviour in common marmosets.

Stephanie Hannington

Honours student, 2017-2018

Steph will be investigating the impact of pharmaceuticals on the behaviour of fish.

James Tanner

Honours student, 2017-2018

James will be investigating the impact of pharmaceuticals on the behaviour of fish.