My research investigates how animals perceive and respond to their environments, particularly in the context of social behaviour and environmental change. My group studies how animals interact with one another and their environment, and how the environment affects their behaviour. I am also interested in how students learn, and in evaluating the effectiveness of learning and teaching strategies.
Current research themes include:
- Predator-prey interactions and the evolution of animal aggregation in response to predators, conspecifics and the distribution of resources.
- The influence of experience and environmental change on behaviour, particularly in relation to the effects of increasing water turbidity on the behaviour of fishes.
- The evolution of parental care, particularly the relationship between laterality (side biases in behaviour) and parental care in fish.
- The effectiveness and value of feedback in student learning, the development of student autonomy, and the value of, and barriers to participation in fieldwork.
I welcome applications for PhD or MSc by Thesis study in all areas of my 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 environments. I am able to supervise both theoretical and empirical projects (or projects that combine the two) and am willing to support applications from students wishing to access their own funding.
Current PhD students:
S. McLean: Laterality and parental care in fish
E. Peasland: Maximising the benefits of environmental fieldwork for a diverse student body
K. Dobbinson: The oddity effect: Applying principles from psychology to and ecological question
C. Carrick: Forager responses to patch size, density and purity: Exploring resource concentration and resource dilution effects
H. Kimbell: Behavioural flexibility and environmental change (University of Hull, 2015)
Á. Johannesen: Aquatic predator-prey interactions (University of Leeds, 2013)
G. Rodgers: The role of colour and oddity in fish behaviour (University of Leeds, 2011)
B. Chapman: Early experience and plasticity in guppies (University of Leeds, 2009)
Completed MSc by Thesis:
L. Rothery: Bird behaviour at birdfeeders (University of Hull, 2015)
K. Dobbinson: Confusion effects in turbid environments (University of Hull, 2015)