C5 Wild Warrington

Cooperation- Cognition - Communication - Conservation - Climate Change

Web-page of C5 Wild Warrington Lab

Research in the   C-5 Wild Warrington aims to examine social evolution and how social behaviors and social living allow animals to cope with environmental change, including the impacts of climate change.  Model systems include Cape ground squirrels (collaborations  with Prof. Jane Waterman, University of Manitoba, Canada) and Siberian Jays with PD Dr. Michael Griesser (University of Konstanz, Germany).

Our research interests follow several main lines:

1) The evolution of sociality, including how social behaviours may be related to species resiliency to rapid environmental change.

2) Species response to changes in human activity and and the transition to a more sustainable society. In current times, as the environment rapidly changes and humans respond to the climate crisis with sustainable energy technologies (e.g. electric cars, wind farms), the need to rapidly assess the response of species is essential to acting quickly to mitigate negative effects of new technology use, which includes new technology and support structure, as well as changes in human activity.

 3) Species response to climate  change. There is overwhelming evidence that the ecology of animals are changing in response to human-induced climate change. Animals may respond to environmental changes with alterations in their physical, physiological and behavioural traits. I am interested in examining the different methods that animals use to cope (and adapt) to rapid environmental changes.

A little bit about the lab

Our research combines field-based mensurative and manipulative experiments with laboratory approaches (e.g. genetics) to explore the evolutionary and ecological drivers of cooperation, and behavioural response to impacts of natural environmental change, and human-induced disturbances (e.g. traffic, noise, and industrial activity) and climate change. The lab employ a wide variety of skills and tools including molecular/genetic approaches and the use of novel datalogging technology, resulting in new knowledge with high academic and management impact. We use an interdisciplinary approach to integrate diverse ideas across sub-disciplines such as behavioural ecology, genetics and physiology to gain novel insights into ecological and evolutionary theory, with the aims of using this new knowledge to develop effective conservation strategies. To achieve these goals, we draw from my wide international research network to develop collaborative teams consisting of people with diverse skills, expertise and perspectives to work together to solve the world’s most significant conservation problems.