Professor Robbie Wilson

Prof & Acad Director, Hidden Vale

School of the Environment
Faculty of Science
+61 7 336 52773


My research group studies animal performance in the laboratory and in the field. We focus on discovering the underlying mechanistic basis of physical performance and it's implications for an individual's survival and reproductive success. We’re particularly interested in how organisms respond to environmental variation, such as seasonal or long-term temperature change, and the costs of these responses to other traits. We examine interactions between behavioural, physiological and morphological traits to better understand how animal performance is optimised. Furthermore, we want to understand how an organism’s performance relates to population-level processes, enabling better conservation practices in urban and wild habitats. Our research is question-driven, and we use a variety of model systems in our studies, including freshwater fish, crayfish, reptiles, marsupials, and humans.

Current projects

  • Importance of performance, life history and behaviour to male mating success in the semelparous marsupial the northern quoll
  • Relative importance of athleticism, skill and balance to success in complex human activities - focus on soccer players
  • When and why do animals lie? Testing hypotheses of deceit and discovering its role in determining animal performance


  • Nasir, Ami F. Amir Abdul, Niehaus, Amanda C., Cameron, Skye F., Ujvari, Beata, Madsen, Thomas, von Hippel, Frank A., Gao, Sisi, Dillon, Danielle M., Buck, C. Loren, Charters, Jordan, Heiniger, Jaime, Blomberg, Simone and Wilson, Robbie S. (2024). Manganese exacerbates seasonal health declines in a suicidally breeding mammal. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 43 (1), 74-86. doi: 10.1002/etc.5753

  • Hunter, Andrew H., Smith, Nicholas M. A., Camata, Thiago V., Crowther, Mathew S., Mather, Andrew, Moura, Felipe A., Santiago, Paulo Roberto Pereira and Wilson, Robbie S. (2023). Are soccer players born later in the year more technically skilled than those born earlier in the year. International Journal of Sports Science and Coaching, 18 (6), 2015-2024. doi: 10.1177/17479541221117630

  • David, Gwendolyn K., Hunter, Andrew H., Moromizato, Karine H., Allen, Charlotte M., Wheatley, Rebecca, von Hippel, Frank A., Niehaus, Amanda C. and Wilson, Robbie S. (2023). Pre-cleaning of hair is not beneficial in LA-ICP-MS studies of chronic metal exposure. PLoS One, 18 (8) e0289635, 1-11. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0289635

View all Publications


Book Chapter

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Other Outputs

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

Completed Supervision