Dr Sarah Lane
Lecturer in Behaviour and Evolution
School of Biological and Marine Sciences (Faculty of Science and Engineering)
Roles on external bodies
2019-present Biology Letters editorial board member
2017-present Member of the British Ecological Society (BES) Review College
I am a behavioural ecologist interested in different forms of conflict resulting from sexual and natural selection, including sexual conflict and contest behaviour. Conflict has huge evolutionary significance as it determines the unequal division of resources vital for reproduction and survival, yet there is still much we don't understand about agonistic interactions. My current research focusses largely on understanding how individuals make strategic decisions to maximise the benefits gained from engaging in a fight while minimising the costs incurred. I am particularly interested in the use of weapons and how the costs of conflict (especially injury) influence strategic decisions.
I am currently in the process of making the transition between being a Post-Doc and setting up a research group of my own. If you're interested in my work and would like to chat about conducting a Masters project or PhD with me, please feel free to contact me via email.
Creative practice & artistic projects
October 2018 ‘The fighting life of sea anemones’ - Talk to public at Wembury Marine Centre, Wembury, UK.
October 2018 ‘Sea an-enemies’ – Filmed segment for BBC1 The One Show
May 2018 'Fighting like an animal doesn't always mean a duel to the death' - Science News magazine
Briffa, M. & Lane, S. M. 2018 Signals in conflict resolution: Conventional signals, aggression and territoriality. In Breed, M. D. & Moore, J (Eds) Encyclopedia of Animal Behavior (2nd ed.) Elsevier.
Reports & invited lectures
August 2021: Plenary ECR talk at ASAB Summer virtual meeting 2021. ‘The role of skill in animal contests: Insights from hermit crab fights’
October 2019 University of Exeter, UK. ‘Animal contests: Insights into injury and skill’
January 2019 Universität Bielefeld, Germany. ‘Sea anemone contests: Drivers and constraints’
January 2019 Coastwise North Devon, Barnstaple, UK. ‘The fighting life of sea anemones’
March 2018 Plymouth University. ‘Costs and determinants of weapon use in animal contests’
February 2017 University of Exeter. ‘From BSc Zoology to researching anemones’
May 2018 Guest lecturer on third year Behavioural Ecology module, Plymouth University, UK.
August 2018 Joint organiser of ‘Broader perspectives on animal contests’ held at Queen’s University Belfast.
Other academic activities
2021 ASAB Easter virtual meeting 2021. Talk: ‘Technique during “training” predicts skill in real fights'
2018 ASAB Easter conference 2018, University of Plymouth, Plymouth, UK. Talk: ‘Extrinsic determinants of contest dynamics in a sea anemone’
2017 Behaviour 2017, Estoril, Portugal. Oral presentation: 'Immune function as a cause and consequence of weapon use'