Dr Rupert Marshall
- BRM6160 - MRes Dissertation (B)
- BR32300 - Dissertation
- BR30220 - Advanced Animal Behaviour
- BR23400 - Research Methods
- BR32710 - Animal Behaviour Field Course
- BR23420 - Research Methods
- BR24310 - Zoo Science
- BR32330 - Dissertation
- BRM6060 - MRes Dissertation (A)
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