Photo of Sue Bertram

Sue Bertram


Degrees:B.Sc., M.Sc. (Trent), Ph.D. (Arizona State)
Phone:613-520-2600 x 1585
Office:4631 CTTC Building
Website:Visit my lab website


Dr. Bertram’s research utilizes a myriad of laboratory and field-based techniques to investigate the major inconsistency between theory and data in explaining the maintenance of variation in sexually selected traits. Theoretically, all fitness-conferring traits should display minimal amounts of genetic variation. This theory is based on the notion that fitness is influenced by directional selection and therefore a single best phenotype should predominate. Provided this theory is accurate, sexually selected traits should strongly influence fitness and therefore display minimal amounts of heritable variation. However, sexually selected traits exhibit even higher levels of heritable variation than other fitness-conferring traits in similar taxa. Her research addresses the causal question of how variation is maintained in sexually selected traits, and focuses on the field cricket as the model organism. Further details about her research can be found at the Bertram Lab Web Site.

Selected Publications

Bertram, S.M., and M. Katti. 2013. The social biologist: effective strategies for social media engagement. Ideas in Ecology and Evolution 6:22-31 doi:10.4033/iee.2013.6.5.f

Pacheco, K, J.W. Dawson, M. Jutting and S.M. Bertram. 2013. How age influences phonotaxis in virgin female Jamaican field crickets (Gryllus assimilis). PeerJ 1:e130; doi:10.7717/peerj.130

Fitzsimmons, L.P., and S.M. Bertram. 2013. Playing to an audience: Aggression and victory displays vary with the presence of an audience. Biology Letters 9(4): 20130449:1-4.

Bertram, S.M., S.J. Harrison, I.R. Thomson, and L.P. Fitzsimmons. 2013. Adaptive plasticity in wild field cricket’s acoustic signaling. PLoS ONE 8(7): e69247. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0069247

Harrison, S.J., I.R. Thomson, C.M. Grant, and S.M. Bertram. 2013. Calling, courtship, and condition in the fall field cricket, Gryllus pennsylvanicus. PLOS ONE 8(3):e60356. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0060356

Fitzsimmons, L.P., and S.M. Bertram. 2013. No relationship between long-distance acoustic mate attraction signals and male fertility or female preference in spring field crickets. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 67(6):885-893. doi:10.1007/s00265-013-1511-z

Fitzsimmons, L.P., and S.M. Bertram. 2013. Signaling effort does not predict aggressiveness in male spring field crickets. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 67(2):213-220 doi:10.1007/s00265-012-1441-1