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.)
NERC Research Fellow, University of Cambridge
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 - )
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.
Felicitas Pamatat (summer internship, University of Bielefeld 2017) : now finishing her Bachelors degree
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 at Penn State University, working with Tracy Langkilde 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) : has submitted her PhD thesis at University of St Andrews, studying New Caledonian crows.