Research

My research focuses on how animals interact with one another, and how these social interactions influence population dynamics, reproduction, macroevolution and conservation issues.

Specifically, my PhD dissertation research has examined (1) how animals compete over resources such as food, shelter and mating opportunities, and how competition is influenced by dominance relationships and communication. This research sparked my interest in (2) the organization of groups of animals, where I have been developing new statistical tools and techniques to analyze animal 'social networks'. I have been using these tools to conduct empirical studies on animal social networks in the lab and in the wild.

I have also been leading collaborative research that examines (3) how life-history factors vary among birds and how this influences morphology and coloration. This research uses phylogenetic comparative analysis to identify co-evolutionary patterns in traits, and has applications for predicting which species will be at conservation risk in the future. (4) Finally, I am also interested in using tools from behavioural biology to improve conservation outcomes for species in decline.