Kristal Cain


I am queer and I am a senior lecturer.//


Queer biologist – Senior lecturer in Animal Behaviour

Grew up in rural East Texas, wound up in New Zealand. I teach undergrads and postgrads and supervise MSc and PhD students. Together we are trying to understand why animals are so varied in their behaviour and appearance and how complex social traits evolve. We are particularly interested in sex differences (and the lack of them), moving away from binary perspectives, and examining entrenched assumptions that have been poorly tested. We use an integrative approach, incorporating tools from the behaviour, physiology, evolutionary ecology, and quantitative genetics. Most of our work focuses on birds, including species from the US, Australia, Europe, and New Zealand. But we also work with lizards, frogs, mammals, and invertebrates.

I’m a long-time ultimate frisbee players, keen adventurer, and partner to a rock-star.