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.)
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 have recently started 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 we ran our first 'Science Cafe' as part of the Cambridge University Science Festival. Join us next year if you're in town!
2010 - 2014: PhD (Cambridge)
BSc(Hons) Zoology, University of St Andrews
Post-doctoral research associate
I am interested broadly in maternal investment in offspring: how levels of investment may alter over time and in response to other variables, and how maternal investment may trade off with investment from other individuals – for example, from helpers or partners. I am investigating these questions in hihi, looking at how maternal decisions about incubation behaviour, allocation to eggs, and sex allocation, are influenced by carotenoid supplementation.
Kirsty is (sadly for us!) now based at Penn State University, working with Tracy Langkilde, but continues to follow up leads with our long-term hihi breeding dataset in her spare time.
2011-2012: MSc Wild Animal Biology (Royal Veterinary College/Zoological Society of London)
2008-2011: BSc Zoology (Aberystwyth University)
PhD student (2014 - )
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.
2015: Research assistant for Prof. Johanna Mappes (University of Jyvӓskylӓ)
2014: BSc and MSc (University of Jyvӓskylӓ)
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.
2016: Undergraduate at Harvard University
PHD STUDENT (2016 - )
As a Gates Scholar, Caitlin will be bringing 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.
James Westrip (temporary Post-doc, University of Cambridge 2016) : now at BirdLife International
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) : now PhD student at University of St Andrews, studying New Caledonian crows.