Animal behaviour research
crab attack

Current research includes:

  • aggression and personality
  • learning and communication
  • evolution of mating systems
  • predator-prey interactions
  • the effects of anthropogenic pollutants and climate change on animal behaviour.

We conduct research to answer both fundamental and applied questions in animal behaviour. In diverse taxa and across different ecosystems, we focus on topics including decision-making, communication and individual-differences. Work on marine hermit crabs investigates the role of assessments and decisions during animal contests, while in terrestrial invertebrates the role of volatile cues in the foraging decisions of plant herbivores is studied. Work on male blackcaps has distinguished between song elements directed towards other males and towards females, teasing apart the two components of sexual selection. Consistent individual differences in behaviour (‘personality’) have been studied in the context of aggression in sea anemones and foraging decisions in sea birds.

Our research utilises a cross-disciplinary range of techniques such as metabolite assays, satellite tracking, stable isotope analysis and sound analysis. Several of our current projects focus on the interactions between anthropogenic impacts (climate change, fisheries, marine pollution) and animal behaviour.

For more details about researchers in this area and their publications please follow the links to their staff pages.