Image by Jan Stipala.

Jan Stipala

A ladybird’s colour indicates how well-fed and how toxic it is, according to an international team of scientists led by Dr Jon Blount.

An international team of scientists including Dr Nick Royle have published a study that has revealved that regardless of how big and healthy individual chicks are, what really matters to their chances of surviving and breeding is how siblings in the nest interact with each other, with cooperative families faring best.

image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

New research from scientists including Dr Alex Thornton has revealed for the first time that, contrary to current models used to explain the movement of flocks, the differences between bird species and social relationships between individuals play a critical role in determining the dynamics of mixed-species flocks.

Photograph by Dr Corsin Müller, University of Exeter.

Dr Corsin Müller, University of Exeter.

Professor Michael Cant has been part of a groundbreaking study of banded mongooses in Uganda that has shown even small-brained animals pass on traditions, giving a valuable insight into how complex human culture could have evolved.

Behaviour

Funding highlights 2009 - 2014

Shakti Lamba. ESRC Future Research Leaders fellowship, January 2014 to 2017. The effects of demography and migration on cooperation and competition: a large-scale field study.

Tom Currie. Tricoastal Foundation, Connecticut, USA, January 2014 - 2016. The Deep Roots of the Modern World: The Cultural Evolution of Economic Growth and Political Stability

Visiting International Academic Fellowships, University of Exeter. Award to support 2-week research visit by Prof. Sergey Gavrilets to Cornwall Campus in Spring 2014

Alex Thornton. BBSRC. The social dynamics of cultural behaviour: transmission biases and adaptive social learning strategies in wild great tits.

Alex Thornton. Australian Research Council (PI Amanda Ridley, UWA): The benefits of sociality: understanding the relationship between cooperation, cognition and fitness in Australian magpies.

Mike Cant. ERC Consolidator grant, Jan 2013 to Dec 2018. Social development and life history evolution in cooperative mammals.

Mike Cant. NERC Standard grant, April 2013 to March 2016. Early life influences on the development of cooperation in wild mammals.

Prof Nina Wedell. Royal Society Wolfson Professorial Award. 'Genomic conflicts'

Prof Nina Wedell. NERC Research grant NE/I027711/1. 'Polyandry and sex ratio drive'

Caitlin Kight & Sasha Dall. Two year National Science Foundation (USA) IFRP Fellowship to study the effects of ambient noise on song learning and mate choice in zebra finches.

Andy Young. Five year BBSRC David Phillips Research Fellowship to study a novel mechanism that tropical birds may use to avoid the costs classically associated with elevated circulating testosterone.

Jon Blount, Royal Society Research Fellowship Extension: Antioxidant allocation trade-offs in animals.

Mike Cant and Jon Blount, Dan Nussey (Edinburgh), Bill Amos (Cambridge). NERC Standard Grant: Social influences on ageing in a wild cooperative mammal.

Clarissa House. Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship: Developmental trade-offs in sexually selected characters.