John H. Christy

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Potential co-supervisors
Bill Wcislo, Rachel Page, Rachel Collin, Bill Eberhard, Mary Jane West-Eberhard
John H. Christy

I am an evolutionary biologist with primary interests in animal behavior. My research includes the natural history, behavior and ecology of crabs and other intertidal animals; sexual selection; animal communication, particularly courtship and including deception, coercion and harassment; the evolution of mate preferences; reproductive timing by intertidal animals, its patterns and consequences for the survival of eggs and larvae, and predation and predator avoidance behavior. I study the immediate social and ecological consequences of behavior and how they affect individual survival and reproductive success in the field. I believe that the adaptive function of a behavioral trait is best understood through combined study of its design, history, the current contexts in which it is expressed and selected, and the mechanisms that produce it.

Suggested Reading
  • Christy, J. H. 2011. Timing of egg hatching and larval release by brachyuran crabs: patterns, adaptive significance and control. Int. Comp. Biol. 51:62-72

  • Christy, J. H., P. R. Y. Backwell, S. Goshima and T. Kreuter. 2002. Sexual selection for structure building by courting male fiddler crabs: an experimental study of behavioral mechanisms. Behav. Ecol. 13:366-374

  • Christy, J. H. 1995. Mimicry, mate choice and the sensory trap hypothesis. Am. Nat. 146:171-181.