Research

At the moment, I’m mainly working on individual behavioural variation as part of a PhD at the University of Nottingham.
In recent years, it has become clear that differences in individual behaviour occur among many animal species (leading to the ongoing development of the concepts of animal personality, behavioural syndromes, etc.). My goal is to frame the study of behavioural variation within and between individuals in a broader evolutionary/ecological context and investigate how it relates to:
  • Ecology
With the much appreciated assistance of three-spined sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus), we’re looking at how ecological factors such as predation, parasitism and food availability influence the behavioural variation present within and among populations.
  • Morphology
Again our stickleback buddies assist us. Here, we’re looking at how the variation they display in armour relates to their behaviour.
  • Group behaviour and social system
In progress…

 

My interests, however, are not limited to this project. They’re actually quite broad and include, among others:
 – Macro-evolution and –ecology
Trends, rates and patterns – Evolvability, robustness and modularity – Phylogeny, diversity and speciation – Origin of life, multicellularity and sex – Social evolution and symbiosis – Plasticity, polymorphism and epigenetics – Human evolution (and its future)
 – Culture and behaviour
Cooperation, ‘altruism’ and conflict – Intelligence, culture and comparative cognition – Animal personality, communication and decision making – Human behaviour – Swarm and herd behaviour – The rise and fall of human civilizations and ideologies
 – Ethics and philosophy of science and technology
Concepts (organism, gene, species, fitness, levels of selection) – Bioethics (genetics, genomics, human enhancement, animal welfare, de-extinction) – Science and society – Transhumanism – Cognitive and neuroscience – Environmentalism and its different guises – Sustainable development
If any of this sounds interesting, don’t hesitate to contact me for discussion.