Rose Thorogood

Rose Thorogood

2017 -: Assistant Professor in Behavioural Ecology (proleptic), University of Helsinki, Finland

2015: Maternity leave

2013 - 2019: Research Fellow (NERC UK)

2013 - 2015: Society in Science - Branco Weiss fellow

2010 - 2013: Post-doc with Prof. Nick Davies (Cambridge)

PhD (Cambridge), BSc/BA & MSc (Auckland, N.Z.)

Rose Thorogood


My research uses information ecology theory to better understand coevolution: I look at how variation in the way information is acquired and used influences the evolutionary outcomes of species interactions. I'm continuing my work on interactions between brood parasitic cuckoos and their hosts (e.g. Thorogood & Davies, Science, 2012), and am now exploring how predators influence evolution of prey defences.  Another goal is to use this approach to suggest novel solutions to conservation problems, starting with the hihi, a bird I have worked with since 2002. 

Scientists interacting can have influence on others too.  In March 2015, 2016, and 2017 we ran 'Science Cafe' as part of the Cambridge University Science Festival. 

Click here for my publications and here for my University of Helsinki pages.


Victoria Franks

Victoria Franks

2011-2012: MSc Wild Animal Biology (Royal Veterinary College/Zoological Society of London)

2008-2011: BSc Zoology (Aberystwyth University)

Victoria Franks

PhD student (2014 - 2018)

I am interested in how animals use information when adapting behaviour, to try and understand how populations may respond under human-induced environmental change. For my PhD (co-supervised by John Ewen, ZSL), I am using the hihi as a wild study system to experimentally test how young, naïve, animals develop adaptive information trade-offs (deciding when best to use social and personal information), what early life experiences affect this ability, and how this may ultimately affect survival.

My University page is here, and click here for my publications

Liisa Hämäläinen

Liisa Hämäläinen

2015: Research assistant for Prof. Johanna Mappes (University of Jyvӓskylӓ)

2014: BSc and MSc (University of Jyvӓskylӓ)

Liisa Hämäläinen

PhD student (2015 - )

Liisa joined us from the University of Jyväskylä in October 2015, funded by the Finnish Cultural Foundation.  She is exploring why there is variation in social information use both within species and across communities, and whether this can help us understand variation in prey defences.

Caitlin Andrews

Caitlin Andrews

2016: Undergraduate at Harvard University

Caitlin Andrews

PHD STUDENT (2016 - )

As a Gates Scholar, Caitlin brings her fascination of individual differences and experience working with dogs, primates, and parrots to help explain why information use varies. Caitlin will be exploring how personality and social behaviour form in hihi, and what this might mean for their conservation.


Katja Ronka.jpeg

2018: PhD at University of Jyväskylä

BSc and MSc (University of Helsinki)

Katja Rönkä

POST-DOC (2018 - )

Based at the University of Helsinki, Katja will be working on the population genomics of reed warblers in Finland, identifying markers of relaxed selection from brood parasitism, and investigating how range expansions alter social environments. Before this she completed her PhD at the University of Jyväskylä on predator-prey interactions with Johanna Mappes.

Ed Kluen.jpeg

2017: Post-doc at Finnish Museum of Natural History

PhD (University of Helsinki)

BSc (Wageningen University)

Edward Kluen

Post-doc & Field manager (2017 - )

Based at the University of Helsinki, Ed is mastering the psyche of reed warblers. He’s characterising behavioural phenotypes to gain a greater understanding of what the social environment means and how it influences the flow of information. Ed brings lots of experience of reedbeds from The Netherlands and a lifetime of birding along with his knowledge on individual variation gained from his PhD working with Jon Brommer on blue tits.

Purabi Deshpande.jpg

2016: MSc (University of Exeter, Falmouth)

2015: BSc (St Joseph's College, Bangalore)

Purabi Deshpande

PhD Student (2019 - )

Purabi joins us from Bangalore, via University of Exeter (Falmouth) where she completed her MSc. Purabi is broadly interested in urban ecology and ornithology, and for her PhD she will be working on building a better understanding of how native bird species interact with non-native plant species in cities. Her plan is to study both the negative consequences of these novel mutualisms (enhancing the spread of invasive plant species) as well as the potential for positive consequences in highly modified urban environments. Purabi will be carrying out this work in two diverse systems provided by two cities: Helsinki, Finland and Bangalore, India. At the moment Purabi is funded by an EDUFI grant from the Finnish Ministry for Education.

Previous people

Mathilde Baudat (summer internship, University of Helsinki 2018) : now a Masters student studying neuroscience.

Francois Lazarus (summer internship, University of Helsinki 2018) : now a Masters student studying biology and conservation at Université de Poitiers.

Felicitas Pamatat (summer internship, University of Bielefeld 2017) : now finishing her MRes degree at University of Cambridge.

Marie Froehly (summer internship, Université de Strasbourg 2017) : now finishing her Bachelors degree

Gemma Shaw (Undergraduate research project & additional data collection, University of Cambridge 2016 & 2017) : now finishing her Veterinary Science degree

Alicia Winthrop (Undergraduate research project & additional data collection, University of Cambridge 2015 & 2017) : now finishing her Veterinary Science degree

James Westrip (temporary Post-doc, University of Cambridge 2016) : now at BirdLife International

Kirsty Macleod (Post-doc, University of Cambridge 2014-2016) : now a Marie Skłodowska Curie fellow (Lund University, Sweden & Simon Fraser University, Canada), working on stress and maternal effects in lizards (among other things!).

Maaike Griffioen (Master's student, University of Wageningen, 2014) : now PhD student at University of Antwerp, studying coordination and cooperation in parental care.

Jessica van der Wal  (Master's student, University of Wageningen, 2012; Post-doc, University of Helsinki & University of Cambridge, 2018) : Jes went on to complete a PhD thesis at the University of St Andrews, studying New Caledonian crows, before coming back to work on social networks with hihi and behavioural ecologists! Jes is now a postdoc with Claire Spottiswoode at the FitzPatrick Institute, University of Cape Town.