Dr Mark Briffa
Associate Professor (Reader) in Animal Behaviour
School of Marine Science and Engineering (Faculty of Science and Engineering)
- Programme leader, BSc Marine Biology (from 2012)
- Deputy programme leader, MRes Marine Biology (from 2012)
- Programme leader, MRes Marine Biology (2009 -2012)
- Deputy programme leader, BSc Marine Biology and Coastal Ecology (2005-2009)
2014 Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
2012 Reader in Animal Behaviour, Plymouth University.
2005 PG Cert. Learning and teaching in higher education, Plymouth University.
2004 - 2012 Lecturer in Marine Biology, Plymouth University.
1999 - 2004 Post-Doc, Queen's University Belfast.
2013 Grade 1 Piano (Merit)
1995 - 1998 PhD in Animal Behaviour, Queen's University Belfast: "Communication during shell exchange in the hermit crab Pagurus bernhardus".
1991 - 1995 - BSc (Hons) Biology, First Class, University of Aberdeen.
- Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour
- Marine Biological Association of the UK
Roles on external bodies
2009-2010 BBSRC Pool Committee member
2007 IRCSET (Irish Research Council) Embark Fellowships panel member (Earth Sciences)
- Physiology & Behaviour or Marine Animals MBIO340
- Behavioural Ecology MBIO317
- Ecology of Shallow Water Marine Habitats MBIO217
- Evolution & Biodiversity MBIO122 (module leader)
- First Year field courses MBIO101
- Experimental Marine Biology Field Course MBIO212
- Methods in Marine Biology MBIO223
Staff serving as external examiners
2011 -2015: Masters Programmes in Conservation & Behaviour, Manchester Metropolitan University
My main research focusses on the evolution of agonistic signals and other aggressive behaviours. 'Shell rapping' in the hermit crab Pagurus bernhardus is my model organism for most of these studies (but recent work has used the house cricket Acheta domesticus and in a current project we are investigating battles in wood ants Formica rufa). Hermit crabs perform ‘shell rapping’ signals, which are easy to quantify and we can control the value of the contested resource by supplying them with gastropod shells of different sizes. In trying to understand the functions of agonistic behaviour it is necessary to understand the costs of engaging in a contest. These might be related to time lost to other activities, the possibility of an injury or physiological costs such as the energetic demands of sustained performance. The energetic costs appear to be a very important constraint on agonistic signals, and the ability to meet them may be strongly related to an individual’s fighting ability.
Other current research interests include consistent between-individual differences in behaviour ('animal personality') and analysis of vaccancy chains, how vaccancies in discrete reuseable resources flow through a population. Again, hermit crabs offer an useful model system to study these questions, particularly in terms of investigating the links between 'personality', aggression and broad-scale patterns of resource distribution.
Honours and masters project areas
If you would like to do your honours or masters project with me, these are areas that I usually supervise projects in.
1) Animal contests - What features influence fighting ability: Weapons, signals, size or energy?
2) Vacancy chains - Do vacant resources transit through populations and what can disrupt this process?
3) Foraging - How does information about the environment affect search paths?
4) Crypsis - Do animals adjust their behaviour to be more cryptic in the presence of a predator?
5) Animal personalities and intra-individual variation (IIV) Is individual variation in behaviour adaptive?
Mainly using hermit crabs and sea anemones but also options to work on other crabs, marine snails, amphipods, seaweed flies, ants.
2014: Katlyn Smelser, MRes. Does 'skill' play a role in hermit crab shell fights?
2014: Samantha Simpson, MRes. Hunger status and boldness in beadlet anemones.
2014: Matthew Scott, MRes. Metabolism and personality in beadlet anemones.
2014: Natalie Jones, MRes. Wind farm noise and behaviour in juvenile lobsters.
2013-Present. Mariana Velasque-Borges, PhD. "Variation in metabolic rate and personality"
2013: Tom Chatfield, MRes. Crypsis, decisions and contests in hermit crabs.
2013: Ruth Memmott, MRes. Sexual signals in seaweed flies.
2013: Winnie Courtene-Jones, MRes. Contests and personality in hermit crabs.
2013: Leslie Howitt, MRes. Dominance and distribution in sea anemones.
2012: Dr. Nicola Foster, PDRA. Relatedness, individual differences and aggression in A. equina.
2012: Stephen White, MRes. Effects of pollution on contests in hermit crabs
2008 – 11: Dr. Tim Batchelor: Post-doc working on Contest behaviour in ants.
2008 – 12: Kate De La Haye. PhD "Behavioural consequences of ocean aciodification in crustaceans". (Joint supervisor: Prof. John Spicer). Funding: University of Plymouth Marine Institute research studentship.
2009 - Present David Gee (second supervisor, in collaboration with Karim Vahed University of Derby) – PhD "Factors affecting the outcome of aggressive interactions in the cricket Platygryllus primiformis"
2005-09: Sophie Mowles. PhD "Contest behaviour in hermit crabs". (Joint supervisor: Dr. Pete Cotton). Funding: University of Plymouth research studentship.
2011: Elizabeth Edmonds, MRes. Contests in hermit crabs
2011: Danielle Bridger, MRes. Personality in hermit crabs.
2011: Emma Hay, MRes. Personality in sea anemones.
2010: Fabian Rudin, MRes. Contests in sea anemones.
2010: Jake Steers, MRes. Decision-making in hermit crabs.
2009: Marianna Nearchou, MRes. Contests in hermit crabs
2008: Anne-Laurence Bibost, MSc. Personality in hermit crabs.
2005: Allison Hillyer, MSc. Human impacts on hermit crab behaviour.
Honours projects supervised: Getting on for 80-90 so far.
Grants & contracts
2016-2019 MARES full time PhD studentship. (PI) £60,000 approx.
2015-2018 BBSRC BB/M019772/1 The role of additive and non-additive genetic effects during animal contests in the beadlet sea anemone Actinia equina. (PI) £252,600.
2013-2017 CAPES /CNPq (Brazillian Government) Science Without Borders PhD Studentship (PI) >£100K
2008-2011 BBSRC F014147 "Aggression in social animals: Effects of group size, resource holding potential and costs of fighting on the outcome of battles" (PI) £225,263.
2007-2010 Marine Institute full time PhD studentship. (PI) £45,000 approx.
2005-2007 Nuffield Foundation New Lecturer Award 'Use of repeated signals by animals'. (PI) £5000.
2005-2008 Faculty of Science full time PhD studentship. (PI) £48,000 approx.
2002-2005 BBSRC S16861 “Motivation and the underlying causation of aggressive behaviour.” (RI) £136,472.
1999-2002 BBSRC S11459 “The functions of repeated aggressive signals.” (RI) £104,960.
Creative practice & artistic projects
Occasional contributor of short monologues to 'The Naked Scientists' BBC radio show. If the following questions keep you awake at night you can listen to the podcasts:
How do sharks make blood?
How do salmon cope in both fresh water and salt water?
Why don't fish have eyelids?
How do electic eels not shock themselves?
- Marine Biology & Ecology Research Centre (MBERC)
Researcher ID Google Scholar
Velasque M & Briffa M. 2016. The opposite effects of routine metabolic rate and metabolic rate during startle responses on variation in the predictability of behaviour in hermit crabs. BEHAVIOUR DOI: 10.1163/1568539X-00003371.
Edmonds E & Briffa M. 2016. Weak rappers rock more: Hermit crabs assess their own agonistic behaviour. BIOLOGY LETTERS 12: 20150884.
Briffa M, Jones N & MacNeil C. 2016. Responses to threat in a freshwater invader: Longitudinal data reveal personality, habituation and robustness to changing water temperatures in the ‘killer shrimp’ Dikerogammarus villosus (Crustacea: Amphipoda). CURRENT ZOOLOGY 62:45-51.
Memmott R & Briffa M. 2015. Exaggerated displays do not improve mounting success in male seaweed flies Fucellia tergina (Diptera: Anthomyiidae). BEHAVIOURAL PROCESSES 120: 73-79.
Seaman B & Briffa M. 2015. Parasites and personality in periwinkles (Littorina littorea): Infection
status is associated with mean-level boldness but not repeatability. BEHAVIOURAL PROCESSES 115: 132 -134.
Briffa M, Sneddon LU & Wilson AJ. 2015 Animal personality as a cause and consequence of contest behaviour. BIOLOGY LETTERS 11: 20141007
Bridger D, Bonner S & Briffa M. 2015. Bolder males are less fecund in the hermit crab Pagurus bernhardus. PROCEEDINGS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY B-BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES 282: 20142492.
Briffa M. 2014. What determines the duration of war? Insights from assessment strategies in animal contests. PLoS ONE 9(9): e108491
Courtene-Jones W & Briffa M. 2014. Boldness and asymmetric contests: Role and outcome dependent effects of fighting in hermit crabs. BEHAVIORAL ECOLOGY 25:1073-1082.
Foster NL & Briffa M. 2014. Familial strife on the seashore: Aggression increases with relatedness in the sea anemone Actinia equina. BEHAVIOURAL PROCESSES 103:243-5.
Waggitt JJ, Briffa M, Grecian WJ, Newton J, Patrick SC, Stauss C & Votier SC. 2014. Testing for sub-colony variation in seabird foraging behaviour: Ecological and methodological consequences for understanding colonial living. MARINE ECOLOGY PROGRESS SERIES 498:275-285.
Briffa M. 2013. The influence of personality on a group level process: Shy hermit crabs make longer vacancy chains. ETHOLOGY 119:1014-1023.
Briffa M 2013. Animal Personalities: Behaviour, Physiology, and Evolution. ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR 87: 239-240.
White SJ, Pipe RK, Fisher A, & Briffa M. 2013. Asymmetric effects of contaminant exposure during asymmetric contests in the hermit crab Pagurus bernhardus. ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR 86: 773-781.
Briffa M. 2013. Plastic proteans: Reduced predictability in the face of predation risk in hermit crabs. BIOLOGY LETTERS 9: 20130592
Briffa M, Bridger D & Biro PA. 2013. How does temperature affect behaviour? Multilevel analysis of plasticity, personality and predictability in hermit crabs. ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR 86: 47-54.
Mowles SL & Briffa M. 2012. Forewarned is forearmed: early signals of RHP predict opponent fatigue in hermit crab shell fights. BEHAVIORAL ECOLOGY 23: 1324-1329.
Briffa M, De La Haye K & Munday PL. 2012. High CO2 and marine animal behaviour: Potential mechanisms and ecological consequences. MARINE POLLUTION BULLETIN 64: 1519–1528.
Mowles SL, Cotton PA & Briffa M. 2012. Consistent crustaceans: the identification of stable behavioural syndromes in hermit crabs. BEHAVIORAL ECOLOGY & SOCIOBIOLOGY 66: 1087-1094.
Stamps JA, Briffa M & Biro PA. 2012. Unpredictable animals: individual differences in intra-individual variability (IIV). ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR 83: 1325-1334.
Rudin FS & Briffa M. 2012. Is boldness a Resource Holding Potential trait? Fighting prowess and changes in startle response in the sea anemone Actinia equina. PROCEEDINGS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY B-BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES 279: 1904-1910.
De La Haye K, Spicer JI, Widdicombe S & Briffa, M. 2012. Reduced pH sea water disrupts chemo-responsive behaviour in an intertidal crustacean. JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL MARINE BIOLOGY & ECOLOGY 412: 134–140.
Batchelor TP, Santini G & Briffa M. 2012. Size distribution and battles in wood ants: Group resource holding potential is the sum of the individual parts. ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR 83: 111-117.
Rudin SF & Briffa M. 2011. The logical polyp: Assessments and decisions during contests in the beadlet anemone Actinia equina. BEHAVIORAL ECOLOGY 22: 1278-1285.
Batchelor TP & Briffa M. 2011. Fight tactics in wood ants: Individuals in smaller groups fight harder but die faster. PROCEEDINGS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY B-BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES 278: 3243-3250.
Briffa M & Greenaway J. 2011. High in situ repeatability of behaviour indicates animal personality in the beadlet anemone Actinia equina (Cnidaria). PLoS ONE 6(7): e21963
De La Haye K, Spicer JI, Widdicombe S & Briffa, M. 2011. Reduced seawater pH disrupts information gathering, resource assessment and decision making in the hermit crab Pagurus bernhardus. ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR 82: 495-501.
Mowles SL, Cotton PA & Briffa M. 2011. Flexing the abdominals: Do bigger muscles make better fighters? BIOLOGY LETTERS. 7: 358-360. doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2010.1079
Briffa M & Twyman C. 2011. Do I stand out or blend in? Conspicuousness awareness and consistent behavioural differences in hermit crabs. BIOLOGY LETTERS. 7: 330-332. doi:10.1098/rsbl.2010.0761
MacNeil C, Dick JTA , Platvoet D & Briffa M. 2011. Direct and indirect effects of a species replacement; the invading amphipod crustacean Dikerogammarus villosus can disrupt aquatic ecosystem energy flow and function. JOURNAL OF THE NORTH AMERICAN BENTHOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION 30: 38-48.
Briffa M & Weiss A. 2010. Animal personality. CURRENT BIOLOGY 20: R912-914.
Briffa M & Elwood RW. 2010. Repeated measures analysis of contests and other dyadic interactions: Problems of semantics, not statistical validity. ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR 80: 583-588.
Batchelor TP & Briffa M. 2010. Influences on resource holding potential during dangerous group contests between wood ants. ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR 80: 443-449.
Briffa M 2010. Territoriality and Aggression. NATURE EDUCATION KNOWLEDGE 1(8):19
Mowles, SL, Cotton, PA & Briffa, M. 2010. Whole-organism performance capacity predicts resource holding potential in the hermit crab Pagurus bernhardus. ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR 80: 277-282.
MacNeil, C, Briffa, M, Leuven, RSEW, Gell, FR & Selman R. 2010. An appraisal of a biocontamination assessment method for freshwater macroinvertebrate assemblages; a practical way to measure a significant biological pressure? HYDROBIOLOGIA 638: 151-159.
MacNeil C & Briffa M. 2009. Replacement of a native freshwater macroinvertebrate species by an invader; implications for biological water quality monitoring. HYDROBIOLOGIA 635: 321-327.
Mowles, SL, Cotton, PA & Briffa M. 2009. Aerobic capacity influences giving up decisions in fighting hermit crabs: Does stamina constrain contests? ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR 78: 735-740.
Briffa, M & Austin, M. 2009. Effects of predation threat on the structure and benefits from vacancy chains in the hermit crab Pagurus bernhardus. ETHOLOGY 115: 1029-1035.
Briffa M & A-L Bibost. 2009. Effects of shell size on behavioural consistency and flexibility in hermit crabs. CANADIAN JOURNAL OF ZOOLOGY 87: 597-603.
Briffa, M & Elwood, RW. 2009.Difficulties remain in distinguishing between mutual and self-assessment in animal contests. ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR, 77 (3): 759-762. DOI: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2008.11.010
Mowles, SL, Briffa, M, Cotton, PA & Spicer, JI. 2008. The role of circulating metal ions during shell fights in the hermit crab Pagurus bernhardus. ETHOLOGY 114 (10): 1014-1022. DOI: 10.1111/j.1439-0310.2008.01542.x
Briffa, M, Haskell, P & Wilding, C. 2008. Behavioural colour change in the hermit crab Pagurus bernhardus: reduced crypticity when the threat of predation is high. BEHAVIOUR145: 915-929.
Briffa, M, Rundle, SD & Fryer, A. 2008. Comparing the strength of behavioural plasticity and consistency across situations: animal personalities in the hermit crab Pagurus bernhardus. PROCEEDINGS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY B-BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES 275 (1640): 1305-1311 DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2008.0025
Briffa, M. 2008. Decisions during fights in the house cricket, Acheta domesticus: mutual or self assessment of energy, weapons and size? ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR 75: 1053-1062. DOI: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2007.08.016
Briffa, M & Mowles, SL. 2008. Hermit crabs CURRENT BIOLOGY 18 (4): R144-R146.
Briffa, M & Dallaway, D. 2007. Inter-sexual contests in the hermit crab Pagurus bernhardus: females fight harder but males win more encounters BEHAVIORAL ECOLOGY AND SOCIOBIOLOGY 61 (11): 1781-1787. DOI: 10.1007/s00265-007-0411-5
Briffa, M & Sneddon, LU 2007. Physiological constraints on contest behaviour. FUNCTIONAL ECOLOGY 21 (4): 627-637 AUG 2007 DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2435.2006.01188.x
Briffa, M & Elwood, RW 2007. Monoamines and decision making during contests in the hermit crab Pagurus bernhardus. ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR 73: 605-612. DOI: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2006.06.008
Briffa, M & Williams, R 2006. Use of chemical cues during shell fights in the hermit crab Pagurus bernhardus. BEHAVIOUR 143: 1281-1290.
Elwood, RW, Pothanikat, RME & Briffa, M. 2006. Honest and dishonest displays, motivational state and subsequent decisions in hermit crab shell fights. ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR 72: 853-859. 2006 DOI: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2006.01.025
Briffa, M. 2006. Signal residuals during shell fighting in hermit crabs: can costly signals be used deceptively? BEHAVIORAL ECOLOGY 17 (3): 510-514 DOI: 10.1093/beheco/arj059.
Briffa, M & Elwood, RW. 2005.Metabolic consequences of shell choice in Pagurus bernhardus: do hermit crabs prefer cryptic or portable shells? BEHAVIORAL ECOLOGY AND SOCIOBIOLOGY 59 (1): 143-148. DOI: 10.1007/s00265-005-0020-0.
Briffa, M & Elwood, RW 2005. Rapid change in energy status in fighting animals: causes and effects of strategic decisions. ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR 70: 119-124. DOI: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2004.10.013
MacNeil, C, Prenter, J, Briffa, M, Fielding, NJ, Dick, JTA, Riddell, GE, Hatcher, MJ, & Dunn, AM. 2004. The replacement of a native freshwater amphipod by an invader: roles for environmental degradation and intraguild predation. CANADIAN JOURNAL OF FISHERIES AND AQUATIC SCIENCES 61 (9): 1627-1635. DOI: 10.1139/F04-091.
Briffa, M & Elwood, RW. 2004. Use of energy reserves in fighting hermit crabs. PROCEEDINGS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY OF LONDON SERIES B-BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES 271 (1537): 373-379. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2003.2633.
MacNeil, C, Fielding, NJ, Dick, JTA, Briffa, M, Prenter, J, Hatcher, MJ & Dunn, AM 2003. An acanthocephalan parasite mediates intraguild predation between invasive and native freshwater amphipods (Crustacea) FRESHWATER BIOLOGY 48 (12): 2085-2093.
Russ, JM, Briffa, M & Montgomery, WI. 2003. Seasonal patterns in activity and habitat use by bats (Pipistrellus spp. and Nyctalus leisleri) in Northern Ireland, determined using a driven transect. JOURNAL OF ZOOLOGY 259: 289-299. DOI: 10.1017/S0952836902003254
Briffa, M, Elwood, RW & Russ, JM. 2003. Analysis of multiple aspects of a repeated signal: power and rate of rapping during shell fights in hermit crabs . BEHAVIORAL ECOLOGY 14 (1): 74-79.
Briffa, M & Elwood, RW. 2002. Power of shell-rapping signals influences physiological costs and subsequent decisions during hermit crab fights. PROCEEDINGS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY OF LONDON SERIES B-BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES 269 (1507): 2331-2336. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2002.2158
Briffa, M & Elwood, RW. 2001. Motivational change during shell fights in the hermit crab Pagurus bernhardus. ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR 62: 505-510. DOI: 10.1006/anbe.2001.1764
Briffa, M & Elwood, RW. 2001. Decision rules, energy metabolism and vigour of hermit-crab fights. PROCEEDINGS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY OF LONDON SERIES B-BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES 268 (1478): 1841-1848.
Elwood, RW & Briffa, M. 2001. Information gathering and communication during agonistic encounters: A case study of hermit crabs. ADVANCES IN THE STUDY OF BEHAVIOR 30: 53-97 2001.
Briffa, M & Elwood, RW. 2000. Cumulative or sequential assessment during hermit crab shell fights: effects of oxygen on decision rules PROCEEDINGS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY OF LONDON SERIES B-BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES 267 (1460): 2445-2452.
Briffa, M & Elwood, RW. 2000. The power of shell rapping influences rates of eviction in hermit crabs. BEHAVIORAL ECOLOGY 11 (3): 288-293.
Briffa, M; Elwood, RW. 2000 Analysis of the finescale timing of repeated signals: does shell rapping in hermit crabs signal stamina? ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR 59: 159-165.
Briffa, M, Elwood, RW, Dick, JTA 1998. Analysis of repeated signals during shell fights in the hermit crab Pagurus bernhardus. PROCEEDINGS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY OF LONDON SERIES B-BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES 265 (1404): 1467-1474.
Irschick, DJ, Briffa, M, & Podos, J. 2015. Animal Signalling and Function: An Integrative Approach. Wiley-Blackwell.
Hardy, ICW & Briffa, M. 2013. Animal Contests. Cambridge University Press.
Irschick DJ, Briffa M & Podos J 2015. Integrating functional approaches with signalling theory: An Introduction. In Irschick DJ, Podos J & Briffa M (Eds.) Animal Signalling and function: An integrative approach. Wiley-Backwell.
Briffa M 2015. Agonistic signals: Integrating analysis of functions and mechanisms. In Irschick DJ, Podos J & Briffa M (Eds.) Animal Signalling and function: An integrative approach. Wiley-Backwell.
Briffa M, Hardy ICW & Mowles SL 2013. Prospects for animal contests. In Hardy ICW & Briffa M (Eds) Animal Contests. Cambridge University Press.
Field SA & Briffa M 2013. Human contests: evolutionary theory and the analysis of interstate war. In Hardy ICW & Briffa M (Eds) Animal Contests. Cambridge University Press.
Briffa M 2013. Contests in crustaceans: assessments, decisions and their underlying mechanisms. In Hardy ICW & Briffa M (Eds) Animal Contests. Cambridge University Press.
Briffa M, Hardy ICW, Gammell MP, Jennings DJ, Clarke DD & Goubault M 2013. Analysis of contest data. In Hardy ICW & Briffa M (Eds) Animal Contests. Cambridge University Press.
Briffa M & Hardy ICW 2013. Introduction to animal contests. In Hardy ICW & Briffa M (Eds) Animal Contests. Cambridge University Press.
Briffa M & Hardy ICW 2013. Preface. In Hardy ICW & Briffa M (Eds) Animal Contests. Cambridge University Press.
Briffa, M & Sneddon, LU. 2010. Contest Behavior. In D.F.Westneat & C.W.Fox (Eds) Evolutionary Behavioral Ecology. Oxford University Press.
Briffa M & Elwood RW 2004. Mobilising for war: use of energy reserves in fighting hermit crabs. COMPARATIVE BIOCHEMISTRY & PHYSIOLOGY 137A/ Suppl: S22.
Briffa M & Elwood RW 2001. Physiological correlates of decision rules during shell fights in hermit crabs. ADVANCES IN ETHOLOGY 36: 127.
Elwood RW, Briffa M & Dick JTA 1999. Fatigue constrains shell rapping during hermit crab fights. ADVANCES IN ETHOLOGY 34: 112.
Briffa M & Elwood RW 1997. Communication during shell exchange in the hermit crab Pagurus bernhardus. ADVANCES IN ETHOLOGY 32: 111.
Selected media coverage
Animal personality (BBC Radio 4, BBC Science & Environment)
Underwater fight club (BBC 1 The One Show)
The Secret Life of Rockpools (BBC 4)
Personality and aggression in sea anemones: Science Shot New Scientist BBC Practical Fishkeeping
Hermit crabs 'standing out and blending in': This is Cornwall
Personality in hermit crabs: Nature Research Highlights 20th March 2008, p 452. Live Science The People's Daily (China) Das Spiegel (Germany) As It Happens (CBC Canada).
Shell fighting in hermit crabs: (1) Your place or mine? The Independent (2) ORF (in German) (3) New Scientist
Reports & invited lectures
Invited talks and seminars
2016 Seminar, Hull University, UK.
2015 Keynote speaker, IEC Behaviour 2015, Cairns, Australia.
2015 Seminar, Florida State University, Tallahassee, USA.
2014 Seminar, Universite Francois Rabelais, Dijon, France.
2013 Seminar, Queen's University Belfast, UK.
2013 Invited speaker at Symposuim on Personality: Causes and consequences of consistent behavioural variation, Hannover, Germany.
2013 Seminar, Nottinghan Trent University, UK.
2012 Invited speaker at ASAB/SEB N3R meeting, London, UK
2012 Invited lecture, Oxford University Scientific Society, UK
2011 Seminar, University of Nottingham, UK.
2011 Seminar, University of Durham, UK
2011 Seminar, University of Newcastle (Marine Scinece and Technology), UK.
2010 Seminar, University of Exeter, UK.
2010 Seminar, Institute of Neuroscience, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.
2009 Seminar, University of Exeter at Falmouth, UK.
2009 Seminar, University of Derby, UK.
2008 Seminar, University of Bristol, UK.
2008 Invited speaker at symposium on contest behaviour. European Conference on Behavioural Biology, Univerity de Bourgogne, Dijon, France.
2007 Invited speaker at symposium on contest behaviour. International Ethological Conference, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada.
2006 Plenary speaker "Energetic constraints in fighting". Joint European Conference on Behavioural Biology, Queen's University Belfast, Belfast, UK.
2005-2006 Guest lecturer on Animal Physiological Ecology module, University of Nottingham, UK.
2006 Seminar, University of Cardiff, UK.
2006 Seminar, University of Liverpool, UK.
2006 Seminar, University of Hull, UK.
Selected contributed conference presentations
Briffa M 2008 Comparing the strength of behavioural plasticity and consistency: Animal personalities in hermit crabs. European Conference on Behavioural Biology, Univerity de Bourgogne, Dijon, France.
Bibost AL, Briffa M 2008 The boldness and shyness of the hermit crab Pagurus bernhardus: Animal personality or behavioural plasticity? European Conference on Behavioural Biology, University de Bourgogne, Dijon, France.
Mowles, SL, Briffa M & Cotton PA 2008. Effects of respiratory pigment and whole body performance capacity on agonistic signals in the hermit crab Pagurus bernhardus.. ISBE: 12th International Behavioural Ecology Congress. Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA.
Mowles SL, Briffa M, Cotton PA & Spicer JI. 2007. Effects of metal -ions and respiratory pigment during agonistic encounters in the hermit crab Pagurus bernhardus., Marine Institute Conference: Understanding Marine Systems. Plymouth, UK.
De La Haye K, Briffa M, & Spicer JI. 2007. Behavioural consequences of ocean acidification in decapod crustaceans. Marine Institute Conference: Understanding Marine Systems. Plymouth, UK.
Mowles SL, Briffa M, Cotton PA & Spicer JI. 2007. Champions how their mettle! Seasonal effects of metal ions on contest behaviour in the hermit crab Pagurus bernhardus. IEC: XXX International Ethological Conference. Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
Mowles, SL, Briffa M, Cotton PA & Spicer JI 2007. The effect of respiratory pigment on shell fighting in the hermit crab Pagurus bernhardus., J.I. IEC: XXX International Ethological Conference. Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
Mowles SL, Briffa M, Cotton PA & Spicer JI 2007. The effect of respiratory pigment on shell fighting in the hermit crab Pagurus bernhardus., J.I. ASAB Easter conference, University of Exeter, Falmouth, UK.
Briffa M & Elwood RW 2005. Shell fighting in hermit crabs: Contests, communication and costs. ICC 6, Glasgow, UK.
Briffa M & Elwood RW 2004. Use of energy reserves in fighting hermit crabs. ISBE, Jyvaskla, Finland.
Briffa M & Elwood RW 2004. Mobilising for war: use of energy reserves in fighting hermit crabs. SEB Edinburgh, UK.
Briffa M & Elwood RW 2002. Signal power, physiological costs and subsequent decisions during hermit crab fights. BES York, UK.
Elwood RW & Briffa M 2002. Physiological constraints influence decisions in hermit crab fights. 1st European Conference on Behavioural Biology, Muenster, Germany.
Briffa M & Elwood RW 2001. Physiological correlates of decision rules during shell fights in hermit crabs. IEC. Tubingen, Germany.
Elwood RW & Briffa M 2001. Physiological constraints influence decisions in hermit crab fights. ASAB Summer conference, Glasgow, UK.
Elwood RW & Briffa M 2001. Probing motivational state during shell fights in hermit crabs. IEC, Tuebingen, Germany.
Briffa M & Elwood RW 2000. Fatigue and stamina: Effects of oxygen levels on the fighting ability of hermit crabs, Pagurus bernhardus. ISBE, Zurich, Switzerland.
Briffa M & Elwood RW 1999. Fatigue constrains shell rapping during hermit crab shell fights. ASAB Summer conference, Lisbon, Portugal.
Elwood RW, Briffa M & Dick JTA 1999. Fatigue constrains shell rapping during hermit crab fights. IEC Bangalore, India.
Briffa M & Elwood RW 1997. Communication during shell exchange in the hermit crab Pagurus bernhardus. ASAB Easter, Cardiff, UK.
Briffa M & Elwood RW 1997. Communication during shell exchange in the hermit crab Pagurus bernhardus. IEC, Venice, Austria.
- Handling Editor: Biology Letters from 2014
- Editor: Animal Behaviour 2010 - 2013
- Academic Editor: PLoS one from 2009
- Consulting Editor, Animal Behaviour 2007-2010
- 'Top Reviewer' awards: Animal Behaviour 2007, Biology Letters 2008, 2009, 2011.
- Reviewing for Animal Behaviour, Behavioral Ecology, Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, Behaviour, Ethology, Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, Journal of The Marine Biological association of the UK, Proceedings of the Royal Society B
- Outreach: Tyneside Metropolitan College, 2009