ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR LAB
I’ve always been fascinated by biology. I spent my childhood peering under rocks and staring into ponds and streams to find animals and watch what they were doing. But it wasn't until I started my degree in zoology at the University of Leeds that I realised that my naturalist's passion for animal behaviour could become the basis for a scientific research career. To achieve that, I did my PhD on the social behaviour of fish, again at the University of Leeds, before moving to Leicester to be a post-doctoral researcher, again in animal behaviour.
Throughout my time as a researcher, I have had the opportunity to travel all over the world to study animals and to interact with other researchers, so it’s perhaps not surprising that I left the UK to come to the University of Sydney in 2007.
I am interested in understanding how individual-level traits impact higher-level phenomena and their consequences for ecology and evolution.
My work is multidisciplinary, incorporates both laboratory and field components, and integrates theoretical and technological innovations to generate insights into a broad range of research questions.
My current interests span:
(a) social network analysis and collective behaviour,
(b) behavioural syndromes,
(c) human-induced rapid environmental change (HIREC), and
(d) the use of animal tracking technologies and electronic sensory tags in conservation.
Current PhD Students
Using fish as a model system, my PhD focuses on the phylogeny of collective behaviour and the evolutionary benefits associated with group-living.
Prior to starting my PhD, I worked in animal behaviour and physiology labs within the University of St Andrews, Lehigh University and Hamburg University. Throughout this time, I developed an interest in the mechanisms and functions of collective behaviour.
After studying shoaling behaviour and group decision making during my Honours year I became fascinated with how individuals with starkly different behavioural tendencies or ‘personalities’ can still function as cohesive groups.
This led me to a PhD looking at the functions and mechanisms of animal personalities and the way in which individual variation in behaviour affects the behaviour of a group or population.
Past Lab Members
- Stephanie Bamford
- Therese Chen
- Dr Matthew Hansen
- Dr James ‘Teddy’ Herbert-Read
- Dr Alex Jordan
- Deluxmi Logendran
- Kieran MacKenzie
- Anna O'Brien
- Phoebe O'Leary
- Camilla Raven
- Amelia Reid
- Douglas Roy
- Dr Timothy Schaerf
- Song-Hee Schumacher
- Melissa Wong
- Shirley Zhu