Qualifications & background
BSc, University of Dundee (1987)
AFRC Research Assistant, University of Oxford (1991-1993)
In the first year I teach vertebrate biology (MBIO111), evolution and animal behaviour (MBIO1013), and help to run the ecosystems field course to Brittany (MBIO109).
My second year teaching covers experimental design and analysis (MBIO210) and the Marine Biology and Coastal Ecology field course in South Africa (MBIO213).
In the third year I teach behavioural ecology (MBIO317) and supervise research projects (MBIO313).
I was the programme leader for BSc Marine Biology & Coastal Ecology for seven years, and now help Dave Bilton to run the programme.
Staff serving as external examiners
I am a behavioural ecologist and of late I have primarily worked on predator-prey interactions and contest behaviour. I'm also interested in community ecology and anthropogenic impacts on ecological assemblages and phenology.
Dalsgaard, B. et al. (2011) Specialization in Plant-Hummingbird Networks Is Associated with Species Richness, Contemporary Precipitation and Quaternary Climate-Change Velocity. PLoS one 6 (10), e25891
Mowles, S.L., Cotton, P.A. & Briffa, M. (2010) Whole-organism performance capacity predicts resource-holding potential in the hermit crab Pagurus bernhardus. Animal Behaviour 80: 277-282
Mowles, S.L., Cotton, P.A. & Briffa, M. (2011) Flexing the abdominals: Do bigger muscles make better fighters? Biology Letters doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2010.1079
Mowles, S.L., Rundle, S.D. & Cotton, P.A. (2011) Susceptibility to predation affects trait-mediated interactions by altering competitive success. PLoS One 6(8): e23068. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0023068
For more details, look at my page on Google Scholar.
Current PhD students
Lisa Sztukowski. Individual foraging specialization and seabird fishery interactions: implications for albatross conservation. With Dr Steve Votier, University of Exeter, and Dr Henri Weimerskirch, CNRS, France.
UoP Research group membershipMarine Biology & Ecology Research Centre (MBERC)
Research degrees awarded to supervised students
Julian Evans. PhD. habitat characterisation of infralittoral pebble beds in the Maltese islands. (Jointly supervised with Prof Martin Attrill & Prof Patrick Schembri, University of Malta). Funding: STEPS, Malta). Completed 2014.
Ahmed Al-Mazrouai, PhD. Phenotypic plasticity in marine intertidal gastropods. (Jointly supervised with Dr. S. Rundle). Funding: Sultanate of Oman. Completed 2009.
Sophie Mowles, PhD. Contest behaviour in hermit crabs. (Jointly supervised with Dr Mark Briffa). Funding: University of Plymouth Research Studentship. Completed 2009.
Sarah Dalesman, PhD. Anti-predator behaviour in the freshwater gastropod Lymnaea stagnalis. (Jointly supervised with Dr Simon Rundle). Funding: University of Plymouth Studentship. Completed 2007.
Gillian Groeger, PhD. The visual performance of the cuttlefish eye. (Jointly supervised with Prof. Roddy Williamson). Funding: HEFCE COLLr. Completed 2003.
(2014) 'The effects of a competitor on the foraging behaviour of the shore crab Carcinus maenas' PLoS One 9 (4), p e93546 , DOI PEARL
(2012) 'Consistent crustaceans: the identification of stable behavioural syndromes in hermit crabs' BEHAVIORAL ECOLOGY AND SOCIOBIOLOGY 66 (7), pp 1087 - 1094 , DOI
(2011) 'Specialization in Plant-Hummingbird Networks Is Associated with Species Richness, Contemporary Precipitation and Quaternary Climate-Change Velocity' PLOS ONE 6 (10), , DOI
(2011) 'Susceptibility to predation affects trait-mediated indirect interactions by reversing interspecific competition' PLoS One 6 (8), p e23068 , DOI
(1999) 'Chick begging strategies in relation to brood hierarchies and hatching asynchrony' AMERICAN NATURALIST 153 (4), pp 412 - 420 , DOI
(1998) 'Coevolution in an Amazonian hummingbird-plant community' IBIS 140 (4), pp 639 - 646 , DOI
(1998) 'Instability of signaling resolution models of parent-offspring conflict' PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 95 (8), pp 4453 - 4457 , DOI
(1998) 'Quality vs. quantity: energetic and nutritional trade-offs in parental provisioning strategies' JOURNAL OF ANIMAL ECOLOGY 67 (4), pp 620 - 634
(1998) 'Temporal partitioning of a floral resource by territorial hummingbirds' IBIS 140 (4), pp 647 - 653 , DOI
(1998) 'The hummingbird community of a lowland Amazonian rainforest' IBIS 140 (3), pp 512 - 521 , DOI
(1997) 'Nestling sex ratio in the European Starling Sturnus vulgaris' JOURNAL OF AVIAN BIOLOGY 28 (3), pp 255 - 258 , DOI
(1996) 'Chick begging as a signal: Are nestlings honest?' BEHAVIORAL ECOLOGY 7 (2), pp 178 - 182 , DOI
(1996) 'Measuring the impact of parental foraging by starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) on soil invertebrate prey availability: An exclosure experiment' OIKOS 76 (3), pp 511 - 521 , DOI
(1996) 'The evolution of begging: Signaling and sibling competition' PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 93 (25), pp 14637 - 14641 , DOI
(1995) 'FOOD ALLOCATION AMONG NESTLING STARLINGS - SIBLING COMPETITION AND THE SCOPE OF PARENTAL CHOICE' PROCEEDINGS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY B-BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES 259 (1356), pp 259 - 263 , DOI
(1995) 'WINTER FIELD USE BY THE EUROPEAN STARLING STURNUS-VULGARIS - HABITAT PREFERENCES AND THE AVAILABILITY OF PREY' JOURNAL OF AVIAN BIOLOGY 26 (3), pp 193 - 202 , DOI
(1994) 'EXPERIMENTALLY-INDUCED SEX-DIFFERENCES IN PARENTAL CARE - AN EFFECT OF CERTAINTY OF PATERNITY' ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR 47 (6), pp 1311 - 1322 , DOI
(1994) 'SONG VERSUS FOOD - TRADE-OFF DECISIONS IN A BREEDING COLONY OF EUROPEAN STARLINGS STURNUS-VULGARIS' BIRD STUDY 41, pp 95 - 101
(1996) 'Body size and the ecology of hummingbirds' pp 239 - 258