Professor Tommaso Pizzari

Professor Tommaso Pizzari

Dr. Tommaso Pizzari


Name: Professor Tommaso Pizzari
Position: Lecturer in Ornithology


I studied Zoology at the University of Aberdeen, did a PhD at Sheffield, and held postdoctoral positions at Sheffield and in Sweden. I was appointed Lecturer at Leeds in 2003, and University Lecturer at Oxford in 2005.


I am an evolutionary biologist interested in sexual behaviour and its evolutionary and ecological implications. Our lab focuses on resolving different aspects of sexual selection, sexual conflict and promiscuity using a strongly experimental approach. Most of our empirical work is based on captive populations of red junglefowl, Gallus gallus, the wild ancestor of the domestic chicken, and we have also been making increasing use of lab-adapted populations of Drosophila melanogaster.


Our work is currently funded by NERC, and external fellowships from NSERC Canada, the Swiss National Science Foundation, and the European Commission. In the past our research has also attracted funds from the Leverhulme Trust, the Nuffield Foundation, the Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour (ASAB), the Swedish Research Council (FORMAS), and the Royal Society.


I serve on the Editorial Board of: American Naturalist (2008-), Proceedings of the Royal Society B (2009-), and Journal of Evolutionary Biology (2009-). I am also Section Editor of BMC Evolutionary Biology (2011-). In the past I have served on the editorial board of Animal Behaviour, Behavioural Processes, and PLoS ONE. I am Secretary of the Grants Committee in the ASAB Council (2010-) and member of the British Ornithologist Union council (2009-), and have served on the NERC Peer Review College.

I was awarded the ASAB Outstanding Young Investigator Award in 2005, and the Philip Leverhulme Prize in 2008.


Collet, J., Richardson, D.S., Worley, K. & Pizzari, T. 2012. Sexual selection and the differential effect of polyandry. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 109, 8641-8645.

Pizzari, T. & Gardner, A. 2012. The sociobiology of sex: inclusive fitness consequences of inter-sexual interactions. Phil. Trans. Roy. Soc. B 367, 2314-2323.

Dean, R., Perry, J.C., Pizzari, T., Mank, J.E. & Wigby, S. 2012. Experimental evolution of a novel sexually antagonistic allele. PLoS Gen. 8, e1002917.

Dean, R., Cornwallis, C.K., Lovlie, H., Worley, K., Richardson, D.S. & Pizzari, T. 2010. Male reproductive senescence causes potential for sexual conflict over mating. Curr. Biol. 20, 1192-1196.

Dean, R., Nakagawa, S. & Pizzari, T. 2010. The risk and intensity of sperm ejection in female birds. Am. Nat. 178, 343-354.

Parker, G.A. & Pizzari, T. 2010. Sperm competition and ejaculate economics. Biol. Rev. 85, 897-934.

Pizzari, T. & Foster, K.R. 2008. Sperm sociality: cooperation, altruism, and spite. PLoS Biol. 6, e130.

Pizzari, T., Dean, R., Pacey, A., Moore, H. & Bonsall, M. B. 2008. The evolutionary ecology of pre- and post-meiotic sperm senescence. Trends Ecol. Evol. 23, 131-140.

Wright, D., Kerje, S., Brändström, H., Schütz, K., Kindmark, A., Andersson, L., Jensen, P. & Pizzari, T. 2008. The genetic architecture of a female sexual ornament. Evolution 62, 86-98.

Pizzari, T., Worley, K., Burke, T. & Froman, D.P. 2008. Sperm competition dynamics: ejaculate fertilising efficiency changes differentially with time. BMC Evol. Biol. 8, 332.

Løvlie, H., Cornwallis, C.K. & Pizzari, T. 2005. Male mounting alone reduces female promiscuity in the fowl. Curr. Biol. 15, 1222-1227.

Keeling, L., Anderson, L., Schutz, K.E., Kerje, S., Fredriksson, R., Carlborg, O., Cornwallis, C.K., Pizzari, T. & Jensen, P. 2004. Chicken genomics: Feather-pecking and victim pigmentation. Nature 431, 645-646.

Pizzari, T., Cornwallis, C.K., Løvlie, H., Jakobsson, S. & Birkhead, T.R. 2003. Sophisticated sperm allocation in male fowl. Nature 426, 70-74.

Birkhead T. R. & Pizzari T. 2002 Postcopulatory sexual selection. Nature Rev. Genet. 3, 262-273.

Pizzari T. & Birkhead T. R. 2000. Female feral fowl eject sperm of subdominant males. Nature 405, 787 – 789.