My research group currently pursue two main themes. The first of these concerns the behaviour and vocalisations of social animals. Using a combination of observational data, sound recordings and a variety of experimental manipulations, we work on several different bird, mammal, fish and invertebrate study systems in captivity and around the world (South Africa, Australia, Panama, Trinidad), including the Dwarf Mongoose Research Project which we established in 2011. Specific current research interests include:
Sentinel behaviour and vigilance patterns
Alarm-call use and development
Decision-making and information use
The functions of foraging vocalisations
The second major topic concerns the potential impact of anthropogenic noise. Using a combination of laboratory and field experiments (in Scotland, France, French Polynesia, Malawi and Australia), we are considering how this global pollutant affects the behaviour, physiology and development of a variety of fish and invertebrate species, as well as the dwarf mongooses.
For further details, see our research site.
I did my first degree at the University of Cambridge (Girton College, Zoology BA Hons, 1996). After a year spent working on different zoological projects around the world, I then completed a Masters at the University of Oxford (New College, Biology: Integrative Bioscience MSc, 1998). During the research phase of this, I investigated parental care and facultative sex-ratio manipulation in great tits (Parus major). I then returned to the Department of Zoology (and Girton College) in Cambridge to conduct my PhD under the supervision of Professor Nick Davies. My research focused on foraging competition and vocal communication in group-living green woodhoopoes (Phoeniculus purpureus), a South African bird species. I obtained my PhD in 2003, when my thesis was examined by Professors Tim Clutton-Brock and Ben Hatchwell. By that stage, I was a Junior Research Fellow at Girton College, a position I occupied until 2005. During this period I began work on vocal communication and development in another group-living bird species, the pied babbler (Turdoides bicolor), which can be habituated to the close presence of observers. In 2005 I was awarded a BBSRC David Phillips Research Fellowship, which I moved to Bristol in 2006 to take up a proleptic lectureship in the School of Biological Sciences.
View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system
Professor Radford currently teaches 7 courses:
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