Project SOUNDBITES – The effect of ambient noise on sexual selection in a fish

Basic data

The effect of ambient noise on sexual selection in a fish
01/06/2013 to 31/10/2015
Abstract / short description:
The noise level in the world`s oceans is rising. It is therefore of the utmost importance to assess how ambient noise will affect sea-living animals before any effects become irreversible. One of the most likely impacts of ambient noise is the disruption of acoustic communication. Many fish species use sound in courtship and a disruption of these signals may severly hamper reproduction. Alternatively, changes in the display or reception of a courtship signal may affect both the direction and the strength of sexual selection by female choice. This project will investigate the effects of ambient noise on 1. the male courtship display, 2. female preference for acoustic displays, 3. the resulting sexual selection and 4. population reproductive success in a small marine fish, the sand goby. Sand goby males use both acoustic and visual displays in courtship and may thus be able to compensate a loss of one modality with increased effort in the other. Thus, this project will provide knowledge on the plasticity of a multi-modal signal, and how the presence or absence of such plasticity affects sexual selection and population reproductive success.
Postdoctoral Project of Dr. Karen de Jong
fish behaviour
sexual selection
sexuelle Selektion

Involved staff


Heubel, Katja
Zoologisches Institut
Department of Biology, Faculty of Science

Local organizational units

Institute of Evolution and Ecology
Department of Biology
Faculty of Science


Bonn, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany

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