Abstract: Changing sex is risky business, not least because the success of a given sexual strategy depends on the sexual strategies of others. Here, I summarise recent work on sex-changing hermaphroditic coral reef fishes, illustrating how individuals contend with uncertainty and assess the risks associated with alternative sexual strategy options. In doing so, I reveal a novel behavioural mechanism for cooperative sex allocation outcomes at the scale of local breeding groups that, in turn, has important implications for the ecology and evolution of sexual development, animal communication, and behavioural diversity.
Biography: Stefan has broad interests in ecology, evolution, and behaviour. In 2010 he received a PhD from JCU for his work on reef fish breeding systems and strategies, and is now working as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the ARC Coral Reef Centre. His current research focuses on collective-action and consensus-decision problems and the evolution of behavioural decision rules, animal communication, and strategic cooperation.