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Dr Julie Kern

Dr Julie Kern

Dr Julie Kern
PhD, MSc, BSc (Hons)

Research Associate

Area of research

Flexible receiver responses to vocal communication

Life Sciences Building,
24 Tyndall Avenue, Bristol BS8 1TQ
(See a map)



2012 – 2016, PhD in Zoology, University of Bristol. Thesis title: “Flexible receiver responses to anti-predator vocalisations in dwarf mongooses”, supervisor Professor Andy Radford.

2011 – 2012, MSc in Zoology, University of Bristol. Thesis title: “Decision making by dwarf mongoose (Helogale parvula) sentinels”, supervisor Dr Andy Radford.

2006 – 2009, 1st class BSc (Hons) in Zoology, University of Bristol 


Activities / Findings

My research aims to advance our understanding of the role played by vocal communication in the behavioural choices of social species, providing novel evidence for the importance of behavioural flexibility in light of varying information. Using detailed behavioural observations, acoustic and social network analyses, and a variety of field-based experiments, I investigate variable receiver responses in a wild but habituated population of dwarf mongooses. I am interested in the influence of caller identity and reliability, and social bond strength between signallers and receivers. I am also investigating the effect of situational variability on signal response, including fluctuations in background risk, individual satiation, and groupmate behaviour, alongside the impacts of anthropogenic noise.


  • Dwarf mongooses
  • Vocal communication
  • Sentinel behaviour
  • Anti-predator behaviour
  • Social information


  • Behavioural observations
  • Vocal recordings
  • Acoustic analysis
  • Playback experiments

Recent publications

View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system

Networks & contacts

  • Dr Andy Radford

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