Many studies have shown that living in groups can be stressful and that the resulting stresses can greatly shorten life. However, it’s not clear whether animals can employ simple strategies to mitigate such stress. One intriguing possibility is that taking a ‘time out’ away from the group could substantially reduce stress and prolong life.


This project will investigate, for the first time, whether taking a brief daily ‘time out’ away from other individuals can substantially increase the longevity of group-housed animals. The experiments will be conducted on neriid flies. 

Student benefits

You’ll conduct cutting-edge research on a high-profile question in evolutionary ecology. Through this project, you’ll learn how to:

  • design and carry out experiments
  • carry out sophisticated statistical analysis
  • write an influential scientific paper.

Honours students in the Bonduriansky lab often publish their work in prestigious journals, such as:

  • The American Naturalist
  • Functional Ecology
  • Animal Behaviour
  • Scientific Reports.

Get involved

To learn more about this project, contact Professor Russell Bonduriansky.     

T: +61 2 9385 3439