Why do animals behave differently in the same situation? In other words, why do animals have different personalities? Many studies have the ubiquity of animal personality in different taxa imaginable. At UNSW, we use a unique approach to tackle this question in an evolutionary framework by employing cutting-edge technologies. We have created serotonin transporter knockout fish and we are investigating their behaviour, metabolism, life-history traits and their interactions. We investigate these functions using automatised behavioural tests and a high-resolution respirometer. 


You’ll answer the question: ‘Does a shy fish have a slow life strategy? By looking at behavioural and metabolic consequences of SERT knockouts.

Student benefits

You’ll learn a suite of skills essential to conducting a successful PhD. These skills include:

  • statistical modelling
  • computer coding
  • experimental design
  • database management
  • molecular/laboratory techniques
  • bioinformatics.

We’re also happy to discuss other potential projects with an interested student.

Get involved

To learn more about this project, contact Professor Shinichi Nakagawa.   

T: +61 2 9385 9138