Communication in the animal world is important to understand because it has consequences for the social life of animals. What information does a signal convey? How do receivers of the signals use it? My group is mainly studying the complexities of bird song. We have done studies on a number of species on the functions of song, f.ex. studies of dialects in redwings and why this species has a long, complex twitter. But for the most part we have been working on pied flycatchers which breed in nest boxes and where the males are polyterritorial and try to attract more than one female. There is a large variation between males in song figure repertoires that has implications for mate choice. Females can gain information about several aspects of male quality by listening to his song, and experiments have shown that they pay attention to this information. But why do not all males have large, attractive repertoires? This is one of the questions we try to answer.
I also find other areas of communication interesting, and have had students working on the use of warning signals in predator-prey interactions - where domestic chicks have been easily accessible predators and will be interesting to continue. My interest also extends to fish feeding and mating behaviour and information content in fish signals in communication networks.
I have read and promise to adhere to the NENT.
Published May 26, 2011 9:47 PM
- Last modified Jan. 30, 2015 11:43 AM