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Pete Cotton

 

Personal photograph uploaded by Pete Cotton

Pete Cotton

  • Job title: Associate Head of School, School of Marine Science and Engineering (Faculty of Science & Environment)
  • Address: Room 619, Davy Building, Drake Circus,
    Plymouth, Devon, PL4 8AA
  • Telephone: +441752584617
  • Facsimile: +44 (0)1752 232970
  • Email: P.Cotton@plymouth.ac.uk


Role

Associate Head of School (Marine Biology)
 

Qualifications & background

BSc, University of Dundee (1987)
DPhil, University of Oxford (1993)
PGC LTHE, University of Plymouth (2001)

AFRC Research Assistant, University of Oxford (1991-1993)
NERC Postdoctoral Research Assistant, University of Oxford (1994-1996)
College Lecturer in Zoology, Pembroke College, University of Oxford (1997) 
Research Biologist, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (1998-2000)
Lecturer / Senior Lecturer, Unviversity of Plymouth (2000-present)

 


Teaching interests

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
External examiner for the University of St Andrews and the University of Malta.  


Research interests

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.

Recent publications

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 membership

Marine 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.

Lissa Goodwin, PhD. The ecology and conservation of the harbour porpoise (Phocena phocena) along the west coast of the UK. (Jointly supervised with Dr Martin Attrill & Dr Nick Tregenza). Funding: private. Completed 2007.

Sarah Carless, PhD. The effect of human disturbance on oystercatcher prey selection and foraging behaviour on rocky shores. (Jointly supervised with Dr Ross Coleman, University of Sydney & Dr Richard Stillman, CEH). Funding: HEFCE COLLr. Completed 2006.

Gillian Groeger, PhD. The visual performance of the cuttlefish eye. (Jointly supervised with Prof. Roddy Williamson). Funding: HEFCE COLLr. Completed 2003.

 

 


Journals
Articles
Chakravarti LJ & Cotton PA  (2014)  'The effects of a competitor on the foraging behaviour of the shore crab Carcinus maenas' PLoS One  (4),  p e93546  Author Site , DOI   PEARL 
Mowles SL, Cotton PA & Briffa M  (2012)  'Consistent crustaceans: the identification of stable behavioural syndromes in hermit crabs' BEHAVIORAL ECOLOGY AND SOCIOBIOLOGY  66  (7),  pp 1087 - 1094  Author Site , DOI 
Dalsgaard B, Magard E, Fjeldsa J, Gonzalez AMM, Rahbek C, Olesen JM, Ollerton J, Alarcon R, Araujo AC, Cotton PA, Lara C, Machado CG, Sazima I, Sazima M, Timmermann A, Watts S, Sandel B, Sutherland WJ & Svenning J-C  (2011)  'Specialization in Plant-Hummingbird Networks Is Associated with Species Richness, Contemporary Precipitation and Quaternary Climate-Change Velocity' PLOS ONE  (10),   Author Site , DOI 
Mowles SL, Rundle SD & Cotton PA  (2011)  'Susceptibility to predation affects trait-mediated indirect interactions by reversing interspecific competition' PLoS One  (8),  p e23068  Author Site , DOI 
Cotton PA, Wright J & Kacelnik A  (1999)  'Chick begging strategies in relation to brood hierarchies and hatching asynchrony' AMERICAN NATURALIST  153  (4),  pp 412 - 420  Author Site , DOI 
Cotton PA  (1998)  'Coevolution in an Amazonian hummingbird-plant community' IBIS  140  (4),  pp 639 - 646  Author Site , DOI 
Rodriguez-Girones MA, Enquist M & Cotton PA  (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  Author Site , DOI 
Wright J, Both C, Cotton PA & Bryant D  (1998)  'Quality vs. quantity: energetic and nutritional trade-offs in parental provisioning strategies' JOURNAL OF ANIMAL ECOLOGY  67  (4),  pp 620 - 634  Author Site
Cotton PA  (1998)  'Temporal partitioning of a floral resource by territorial hummingbirds' IBIS  140  (4),  pp 647 - 653  Author Site , DOI 
Cotton PA  (1998)  'The hummingbird community of a lowland Amazonian rainforest' IBIS  140  (3),  pp 512 - 521  Author Site , DOI 
Bradbury RB, Cotton PA, Wright J & Griffiths R  (1997)  'Nestling sex ratio in the European Starling Sturnus vulgaris' JOURNAL OF AVIAN BIOLOGY  28  (3),  pp 255 - 258  Author Site , DOI 
Cotton PA, Kacelnik A & Wright J  (1996)  'Chick begging as a signal: Are nestlings honest?' BEHAVIORAL ECOLOGY  (2),  pp 178 - 182  Author Site , DOI 
Whitehead SC, Wright J & Cotton PA  (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  Author Site , DOI 
RodriguezGirones MA, Cotton PA & Kacelnik A  (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  Author Site , DOI 
KACELNIK A, COTTON P, STIRLING L & WRIGHT J  (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  Author Site , DOI 
WHITEHEAD S, WRIGHT J & COTTON P  (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  Author Site , DOI 
WRIGHT J & COTTON P  (1994)  'EXPERIMENTALLY-INDUCED SEX-DIFFERENCES IN PARENTAL CARE - AN EFFECT OF CERTAINTY OF PATERNITY' ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR  47  (6),  pp 1311 - 1322  Author Site , DOI 
WRIGHT J & COTTON P  (1994)  'SONG VERSUS FOOD - TRADE-OFF DECISIONS IN A BREEDING COLONY OF EUROPEAN STARLINGS STURNUS-VULGARIS' BIRD STUDY  41,  pp 95 - 101  Author Site
Conference Papers
Cotton PA  (1996)  'Body size and the ecology of hummingbirds' pp 239 - 258