I am passionate about interdisciplinary research and have endeavoured to combine both an ultimate and proximate approach to my research questions. My research predominately investigates the hormonal mechanisms that underpin complex behaviours. I also have an interest in the welfare of agricultural, laboratory and domesticated animals.

Most recently I have been working on the implementation of non-aversive handling for welfare refinement in laboratory mice funded by the NC3Rs. I have recently completed a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research Fellowship at Newcastle University, UK, that investigated the neural and endocrine mechanisms the underpin hoarding behaviour in the coal tit, Periparus ater. With Timothy Boswell and Tom Smulders.

I received my PhD from The University of Glasgow where I studied Evolutionary Biology and Endocrinology in the blue tit, Cyanistes caeruleus. Since completing my PhD I have been conducting experiments with captive house finches, Haemorhous mexicanus, at The University of California Davis, to examine how the social environment influences male song production. Although I have mostly conducted research with birds, I have also worked with fish species to investigate the role of cortisol in predator – prey interactions.

Academic History

  • Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, The University of Glasgow, UK, Supervisors: Dr Kathryn Arnold and Prof Neil Evans
  • MRes in Ecology and Environmental Management, The University of York, UK
  • BSc (Hons) Zoology, The University of Glasgow, UK


Tom Smulders – Centre for Behaviour and Evolution, Newcastle University, UK

Timothy Boswell – School of Biology, Newcastle University, UK

Kathryn Arnold – Environment Department, University of York, UK

Neil Evans – Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine, University of Glasgow, UK

Britt Heidinger – Department of Biological Sciences, North Dakota State University, ND

Katherine Herborn – School of Biomedical and Marine Sciences, University of Plymouth, UK

Thomas Hahn – College of Biological Sciences, UC Davis, CA

Hannah Rowland – Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, UK

Richard Broughton – Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, UK

Photography: Female blue tit and chick on the nest by Vicky Larcombe, Sunset at Loch Lomond and oak bud burst by Lindsay Henderson, Coal tit by Karen Summers.