Why aren't males even more promiscuous? Why are feelings of disgust so hard to get over? Why do some bad memories make you feel like a failure? How long will you live if you're small, hungry and lonely?

That intriguing mix of topics featured among the prize-winning submissions from the next generation of bright young researchers in the Faculty of Science's first Postgraduate Research Competition.

Entries flowed fast and strong, with 86 postgraduate students vying for almost $25,000 in prizes to support travel linked to their research projects.

A study by Alex Jordan, from the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, suggests male promiscuity is not more common - despite its potential evolutionary advantages - because it is subject to natural limitations.

Alex used tropical fish to show that promiscuous males will forgo essential life tasks in favour of sexual effort: the trade-off was that they grew more slowly and died younger. A paper on the study will be published in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology.

The overall competition winner was Psychology student Jill Newby. Her project compared intrusive memories and how cognitive behaviour therapy may help people with depression cope better with such unwanted thoughts. Jill's prize was valued at $5,000.

Read the full story and download the winning abstracts at the Faculty of Science newsroom.

Media contact: Bob Beale | 0411 705 435 |