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.)
ASSISTANT PROFESSOR in BEHAVIOURAL ECOLOGY, University of Helsinki
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.
2011-2012: MSc Wild Animal Biology (Royal Veterinary College/Zoological Society of London)
2008-2011: BSc Zoology (Aberystwyth University)
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.
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 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.
2018: PhD at University of Jyväskylä
BSc and MSc (University of Helsinki)
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.
2017: Post-doc at Finnish Museum of Natural History
PhD (University of Helsinki)
BSc (Wageningen University)
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.
2016: MSc (University of Exeter, Falmouth)
2015: BSc (St Joseph's College, Bangalore)
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.
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.