Dr Sarah Lane

Dr Sarah Lane

Post-doctoral Research Fellow

School of Biological & Marine Sciences (Faculty of Science & Engineering)


I am a post-doctoral research fellow working with Dr Mark Briffa, Dr Manuela Truebano Garcia and Dr Alistair Wilson (University of Exeter) investigating the influence of indirect genetic effects on contest behaviour in the beadlet sea anemone Actinia equina. The overarching aim of our project is to understand how an individual's behaviour during a contest (i.e. aggression) is affected by the interaction between its own genotype and that of its opponent.


2015- Present Post-doctoral Research Fellow, Plymouth University
2012-2015 PhD "The role of cuticular hydrocarbons in determining male reproductive success", University of Exeter, Penryn Campus
2011-2012 MSc Evolutionary and Behavioural Ecology (with Distinction), University of Exeter, Penryn Campus
2008-2011 BSc Zoology (Hons) 1st class, University of Exeter, Penryn Campus


2016-present Early Career Researcher representative on Plymouth University's central Athena SWAN SAT (Self- assessment) team
2016-present Co-ordinator of fortnightly Marine Biology and Ecology Research Centre (MBERC) departmental seminars


2013 Biosciences School Commendation for Outstanding Research Project (MSc Evolutionary and Behavioural Ecology 2011/12)

Professional membership

Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour (ASAB)
British Ecological Society (BES)

Roles on external bodies

Member of the British Ecological Society (BES) Review College

Creative practice & artistic projects

I recently contributed a short monologue pitching sea anemones as the 'critter of the week' for The Naked Scientists' marine month, you can listen to it here: - Critter of the Week: Sea Anemones


Lane, S. M., & Briffa, M. In Press. Immune function and the decision to deploy weapons during fights in the beadlet anemone Actinia equina. Journal of Experimental Biology.  

Briffa, M., & Lane, S. M. 2017 The role of skill in animal contests: A neglected component of fighting ability. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 284: 20171596.

Lane, S. M., & Briffa, M. 2017 Boldness is for rookies: Pre-fight boldness and fighting success in a sea anemone. Animal Behaviour. 132: 13-20.

Lane, S. M., & Briffa, M. 2017 The price of attack: Rethinking damage costs in animal contests. Animal Behaviour. 126: 23-29.

Lane, S. M., Dickinson, A. W., Tregenza, T., House, C. M. 2016 Sexual selection on male cuticular hydrocarbons via male-male competition and female choice. Journal of Evolutionary Biology. 29: 1346-1355.

Lane, S. M., Haughan, A. E., Evans, D., Tregenza, T., House, C. M. 2016 Same-sex sexual behaviour as a dominance display. Animal Behaviour. 114: 113-118.

Rapkin, J., Jensen, K., Lane, S. M., House, C. M., Sakaluk, S. K., Hunt, J. 2015 Macronutrient intake regulates sexual conflict in decorated crickets. Journal of Evolutionary Biology. 29(2): 395-406.

House, C. M., Jensen, K., Rapkin, J., Lane, S. M., Okada, K., Hosken, D. J., Hunt, J. 2015 Macronutrient balance mediates the growth of sexually selected weapons but not genitalia in male broad horned flour beetles. Functional Ecology. 30(5):769-779.

Lane, S. M., Solino, J. H., Mitchell, C., Blount, J. D., Okada, K., Hunt, J., House C. M. 2015 Rival male chemical cues evoke changes in male pre- and post-copulatory investment in a flour beetle. Behavioural Ecology. 26(4):1021-1029.

Ingleby, F. C., Hosken, D. J., Flowers, K., Hawkes, M. F., Lane, S. M., Rapkin, J., House, C. M., Sharma, M. D., Hunt, J. 2014 Environmental heterogeneity, multivariate sexual selection, and genetic constraints on cuticular hydrocarbons in Drosophila simulans. Journal of Evolutionary Biology. 27(4): 700-713.

Ingleby, F. C., Hosken, D. J., Flowers, K., Hawkes, M. F., Lane, S. M., Rapkin, J., Dworkin, I., Hunt, J. 2013 Genotype by environment interactions for cuticular hydrocarbon expression in Drosophila simulans. Journal of Evolutionary Biology. 26: 94-107.


August 2017 Behaviour 2017, Estoril, Portugal. Oral presentation: 'Immune function as a cause and consequence of weapon use'

June 2017 Contests: Theory and Evidence, Norwich, UK. Oral presentation: 'The price of attack: Rethinking damage costs in animal contests'

August 2016 16th Congress of the International Society for Behavioural Ecology, Exeter, UK. Oral presentation: 'Can post-fight changes in boldness explain subsequent fighting success?'

June 2015 52nd Annual conference of the Animal Behaviour Society, Anchorage, Alaska, USA. Oral presentation: 'Male flour beetles alter both pre and post-copulatory investment in response to rival Male chemical cues'

May 2014 10th Ecology and Behaviour meeting, Montpellier, France. Oral presentation: 'Perception of sperm competition risk is altered by the presence of male-derivedcuticular hydrocarbons in the broad-horned flour beetle Gnatocerus cornutus'


Acta Ethologica
Animal Behaviour
Behavioural Processes
Biological Invasions
Journal of Herpetology
Marine and Freshwater Research
Physiological Entomology

Reports & invited lectures


March 2017 Guest lecturer on third year Behavioural Ecology module, Plymouth University, UK.

February 2017 Invited keynote speaker for Bioscience Undergraduate Research Conference, University of Exeter, Penryn Campus, UK. 'From BSc Zoology to researching anemones'


Personal webpage: https://sarahlanebehaviour.wordpress.com/

ResearchGate profile: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Sarah_Lane3