Lesley Morrell

Dr Lesley Morrell

Director of Studies

Faculty and Department

  • Faculty of Science and Engineering
  • School of Environmental Sciences

Summary

Lesley Morrell is interested in how animals respond to their environments, particularly in the context of anti-predator aggregation and environmental change.

Her group studies how animals interact with one another in their foraging, mating and social decisions, and how the environment affects these behaviours.

Projects include the behavioural responses of small fish to increasing environmental turbidity, the effect of resource density on attack rates by foraging insects, and understanding how predators target prey, using principles taken from human psychology.

Lesley is also interested in how students learn, and evaluating the effectiveness of learning and teaching strategies.

Journal Article

Group size and individual ‘personality’ influence emergence times in hermit crabs

Broadhurst, H. E., & Morrell, L. J. (2019). Group size and individual ‘personality’ influence emergence times in hermit crabs. Bioscience Horizons, 11, https://doi.org/10.1093/biohorizons/hzy011

Foraging guppies can compensate for low-light conditions, but not via a sensory switch

Kimbell, H., Chapman, B., Dobbinson, K., & Morrell, L. (2019). Foraging guppies can compensate for low-light conditions, but not via a sensory switch. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 73, https://doi.org/10.1007/s00265-019-2640-9

Disturbed flow in an aquatic environment may create a sensory refuge for aggregated prey

Johannesen, A., Dunn, A. M., & Morrell, L. J. (2017). Disturbed flow in an aquatic environment may create a sensory refuge for aggregated prey. PeerJ, 5, https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.3121

Student perceptions of their autonomy at University

Henri, D. C., Morrell, L. J., & Scott, G. W. (2018). Student perceptions of their autonomy at University. Higher Education, 75(3), 507-516. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10734-017-0152-y

Local interactions and global properties of wild, free-ranging stickleback shoals

Ward, A. J. W., Schaerf, T. M., Herbert-Read, J. E., Morrell, L., Sumpter, D. J. T., & Webster, M. M. (2017). Local interactions and global properties of wild, free-ranging stickleback shoals. Royal Society Open Science, 4(7), 170043. doi:10.1098/rsos.170043

Postgraduate supervision

Dr Morrell welcomes applications in all areas of her research, particularly those relating to the evolution of social and anti-predator behaviour, the impact of environmental change on the behaviour of fishes, and the way animals perceive their environment.

She is able to supervise both empirical and theoretical projects and is willing to support applications from students wishing to access their own funding.

Completed PhDs

- Kimbell H S: Behavioural Flexibility and Environmental Change, University of Hull (2015)

- Johannesen Á: Aquatic Predator-Prey Interactions, University of Leeds (2013)

- Rodgers G M: The Role of Colour and Oddity in Fish Behaviour, University of Leeds (2011)

- Chapman B B: Early Experience and Plasticity in Guppies, University of Leeds (2009)

Current PhD Supervisions

- McLean S: Laterality and Parental Care in Fish

- Peasland E: Maximising the Benefits of Environmental Fieldwork for a Diverse Student Body

- Dobbinson K E: The Oddity Effect: Applying Principles from Psychology to an Ecological Question

- Carrick C: Forager Responses to Patch Size, Density and Purity: Exploring Resource Concentration and Resource Dilution Effects