Dr Rupert Marshall

PhD

Dr Rupert Marshall

Reader in Animal Behaviour

Contact Details

Teaching

Research

Bird Song: evolution & function: Much of my research centres around avian communication. Why do birds sing? What response does song elicit in other birds? How & why do songs change over time? I am particularly interested in how signals adapt & change in response to both environmental & sexual selection pressures.

Urban behavioural adaptations: I am investigating how & why animals adapt their behavioural strategies in response to this background noise. For example, some birds sing at a higher pitch in noisy cities than they do in quieter rural areas. I am researching how these behavioural differences emerge, the role that learning plays in reinforcing these differences & the implications these changes have for conservation & biodiversity. This work includes the Nestbox Survey, involving regular monitoring of nearly 200 nest boxes in University woodlands by a team of student volunteers.

Social adaptation: the evolution of song dialects: Animals may adapt their behaviours for a variety of reasons including the need to fit in with their neighbours. For example, songs of corn buntings form a pattern of local dialects. I am investigating the role of social adaptation & dialects in signalling systems & the implications for these systems of changes to farming practice & population decline.

Social learning: information transfer within groups: Animals often learn new behaviours from other individuals, so knowing who to trust & when to act alone are important decisions. Using the University's aquarium facilities I am studying social learning in Guppies to investigate how animals decide who to learn from, as well as how they learn & how much they can learn from one anoth

Publications

Lombard effect onset times reveal the speed of vocal plasticity in a songbirdHardman, S., Zollinger, S. A., Koselj, K., Leitner, S., Marshall, R. & Brumm, H. 2017 In : Journal of Experimental Biology.220, 6, p. 1065-10716 p.
Mechanisms and extent of information transfer in socially foraging guppies, Poecilia reticulataFranks, V. & Marshall, R. C. 2013 In : Animal Behaviour.85, 1, p. 103-1086 p.
Degradation of rural and urban great tit song: testing transmission efficiencyMockford, E. J., Marshall, R. C. & Dabelsteen, T. 2011 In : PLoS One.6, 12, e28242
Colony kin structure and host-parasite relatedness in the barnacle gooseAnderholm, S., Waldeck, P., Van Der Jeugd, H. P., Marshall, R. C., Larsson, K. & Andersson, M. 2009 In : Molecular Ecology.18, 23, p. 4955-49639 p.
Effects of urban noise on song and response behaviour in great titsMockford, E. J. & Marshall, R. C. 2009 In : Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.276, 1669, p. 2979-29857 p.
Nest parasitism in the barnacle goose: evidence from protein fingerprinting and microsatellitesAnderholm, S., Marshall, R. C., van der Jeugd, H. P., Waldeck, P., Larsson, K. & Andersson, M. 2009 In : Animal Behaviour.78, 1, p. 167-1748 p.
Song sharing and repertoire size in the sedge warbler, Acrocephalus schoenobaenus: changes within and between yearsNicholson, J. S., Buchanan, K. L., Marshall, R. C. & Catchpole, C. K. 2007 In : Animal Behaviour.74, 5, p. 1585-1592
Song and female choice for extrapair copulations in the sedge warbler, Acrocephalus schoenobaenusMarshall, R. C., Buchanan, K. L. & Catchpole, C. K. 2007 In : Animal Behaviour.73, 4, p. 629-6357 p.
One small pointMarshall, R. C. 2006 In : Nature.444, 7118, p. 422