John Endler

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John Endler

John Arthur Endler

1947 (age 75–76)
Alma materUniversity of Edinburgh (PhD)
Scientific career
ThesisA Study of Morph-Ratio Clines (1973)
Doctoral advisorBryan Clarke

John Arthur Endler FRS (born 1947) is a Canadian ethologist and evolutionary biologist noted for his work on the adaptation of vertebrates to their unique perceptual environments, and the ways in which animal sensory capacities and colour patterns co-evolve.

Education and early life[edit]

Born in Canada, Endler took his PhD degree at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.[citation needed]

Career and research[edit]

After his PhD, Endler worked at Princeton University (1973-1979), the University of Utah (1979-1986), the University of California, Santa Barbara (1986-2006), the James Cook University of North Queensland, Australia and is currently working at Deakin University in Victoria, Australia. In 2006 he was appointed as an Anniversary Professor of Animal Behaviour in the School of Psychology at the University of Exeter, England. In 2007 he was elected as a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2009 he joined the Centre for Integrative Biology at Deakin University (Australia) where he is an Alfred Deakin Professor. In 2012 he was elected as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science. In April 2020 Endler was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS).[1]

Endler's livebearer, now classified as Poecilia wingei

Endler has carried out extensive work on guppies, including in 1975 rediscovering the species now known to aquarists as Endler's guppy, in his honour; this brightly coloured fish is sometimes regarded as a geographical variant of the common guppy Poecilia reticulata, but is now usually treated as a separate species, Poecilia wingei.[2] Although it had been recorded before Endler's discovery, it had not been properly studied and documented. Among biologists, however, he is better known for his experimental work on inducing small-scale evolution in the laboratory. In addition to his work on guppies he has studied many other species, including investigating the bower-building behaviour of bowerbirds in North Queensland, Australia.

In 2008 the European Research Council announced that he was among the first cohort of Life Scientists to receive an award under its Advanced Grants scheme.[3] In 2012 he was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science.[4]


  • Endler, John A. (1977). Geographic Variation, Speciation, and Clines. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
  • Endler, John A. (1986). Natural Selection in the Wild. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Journal articles[edit]

  • Endler, J. A. (1980). Natural selection on color patterns in Poecilia reticulata. Evolution, 34, 76–91.
  • Endler, J. A., McLellan, T. (1988). The Processes of Evolution: Toward a Newer Synthesis. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 19, 395–421.
  • Endler, J. A. (1990). On the measurement and classification of color in studies of animal color patterns. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 41, 315–352.
  • Reznick, D. A., Bryga, H., & Endler, J. A. (1990). Experimentally induced life history evolution in a natural population. Nature, 346, 357–359.
  • Endler, J. A., & Day, L. B (2006). Ornament colour selection, visual contrast and the shape of colour preference functions in great bowerbirds, Chlamydera nuchalis. Animal Behaviour, 72, 1405–1416.
  • Endler, J. A., & Mielke, P. W. (2005). Comparing entire colour patterns as birds see them. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 86, 405–431.
  • Endler, J. A., Westcott, D. A., Madden, J. R., & Robson, T (2005). Animal visual systems and the evolution of color patterns: Sensory processing illuminates signal evolution. Evolution, 59, 1795–1818.


  1. ^ "Academy President and Fellows elected to Royal Society | Australian Academy of Science". Retrieved 24 May 2020.
  2. ^ Poeser, F. N., Kempkes, M., & Isbrucker, I. J. H. (2005). Description of Poecilia (Acanthophacelus) wingei n. sp from the Paria Peninsula, Venezuela, including notes on Acanthophacelus Eigenmann, 1907 and other subgenera of Poecilia Bloch and Schneider, 1801 (Teleostei, Cyprinodontiformes, Poeciliidae). Contributions To Zoology, 74, 97-115.
  3. ^ Times Higher Education, 23 October 2008, p.19
  4. ^ "Professor John Arthur Endler". Australian Academy of Science. 2012. Archived from the original on 26 December 2017. Retrieved 17 December 2016.