Dr Barnaby Dixson - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Staff profile

Dr Barnaby Dixson

PhD. BehEcol VUW, B.A UCSC

  • Lecturer, Psychology
+61 4237 01211
Office location
Moreton Bay
Dr Barnaby Dixson

My research involves a combination of qualitative and quantitative cross-cultural data collection in small-scale societies, behavioral research in the lab and demographic analyses that currently span three research areas:

  1. Maternal and child health: I am working with the Growing Up in New Zealand Project to measure how social, psychological and biological factors influence women’s health during pregnancy and the subsequent health and development of their babies.
  2. Paternal mental health: I work with on the Queensland Family Cohort to quantify the effects of peri-natal and post-natal depression in fathers on the health and family well-being.
  3. Experimental psychology: I work with developmental and cognitive psychologists to better understand how perceptions of facial expressions manifest using explicit ratings, viewing time paradigms, eye-tracking and EEG.

Professional Membership

  • International Academy of Sex Research

Awards / Fellowships

  • 2019. UQ School of Psychology Research Excellence Grant ($10,000 AUD) 
  • 2016. Queensland Young Tall Poppy of the Year ($10,000 AUD)
  • 2016. UQ HaBS/MaBS collaborative grant ($40,000 AUD)
  • 2015. UQ Post-Doctoral Fellowship, University of Queensland ($347, 995 AUD)
  • 2014. UNSW Australia, Science Silver Star Grant, University of New South Wales ($40,000 AUD)
  • 2011. Australian Research Council, Discovery Grant ($334,000 AUD)
  • 2007. New Zealand International Doctoral Research Scholarship ($80,000 NZD)

Professional Social Media

Research Grants

Grant/Project name


Funding body & A$ value


Focus (of research grant)

UQ School of Psychology Research Excellence Grant

Dr Barnaby Dixson, Dr. Nicole Nelson and Dr. Alan Pegna

The University of Queensland;  $10,000


EEG and face perceptions

UQ HaBS/MaBS collaborative grant

Dr Barnaby Dixson and Prof. Gita Mishra

The University of Queensland, $40,00


Maternal health and child development

UQ Post-Doctoral Fellowship

Dr Barnaby Dixson

The University of Queensland, $347,995


Masculinity and male attractiveness

Science Silver Star Grant

Dr Barnaby Dixson

The University of New South Wales


Genetics and sexual signalling

Australian Research Council, Discovery Grant

Dr Barnaby Dixson and Prof. Rob Brooks

Australian Research Council; $334,000


Sexual selection and human evolution

New Zealand International Doctoral Research Scholarship

Dr Barnaby Dixson

NZAID; $80,000


Cross-cultural studies of human attractiveness

Potential Research Projects For HDR & Honours Students

  • Mental health during the transition to parenthood
  • Sexual selection and the evolution of human behaviour.

Research areas

  • Evolutionary theory and sexual selection
  • Cross-cultural research
  • Face perception
  • Body image
  • Mental health and fatherhood

Teaching areas

  • Intercultural and Indigenous Psychology
  • Research methods and statistics

Research publications

  • Dixson, B.J.W. 2021. Sexual selection and the evolution of human appearance enhancements. Archives of Sexual Behavior.
  • Craig, B. M., Nelson, N. L., & Dixson B. J. W. 2019. Sexual selection, agonistic signalling, and the effect of beards on men’s anger displays. Psychological Science, 30, 728-738.
  • Brooks R. C., Jordan, A.L., Shelly, J., Dixson B. J. 2015. The multivariate evolution of female body shape in an artificial digital ecosystem. Evolution and Human Behavior, 36, 351-358.
  • Dixson, B.J.W., Blake, K.R., Denson, T.F., Gouda-Vossos, A., Sulikowski, D., Rantala, M.J., Brooks, R.C. 2018. The role of mating context and fecundability in women’s preferences for men’s facial masculinity and beardedness. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 93, 90-102.
  • Singh, D., Dixson, B. J., Jessop, T. S., Morgan, B., & Dixson, A. F. 2010. Cross-cultural consensus for waist-to-hip ratio and women’s attractiveness. Evolution and Human Behavior, 31, 176-181.
  • Jones, B. C., DeBruine, L. M., Flake, J. K., Liuzza, M. T., Antfolk, J., Arinze, N. C., ... & Sirota, M. 2021. To which world regions does the valence–dominance model of social perception apply? Nature Human Behaviour, 5, 159-169.

Barnaby Dixson's specialist areas of knowledge include physical attractiveness, sexual behaviour, human evolution, cross-cultural research, masculinity, fatherhood.

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