Andrew N Radford

Andrew N Radford
University of Bristol | UB · School of Biological Sciences

MA, MSc, PhD

About

186
Publications
66,866
Reads
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6,429
Citations
Introduction
I am a behavioural ecologist with two main research interests. One concerns cooperation and conflict in social animals, and how vocalisations mediate these interactions. We work on various bird, fish, insect and mammal systems, including the Dwarf Mongoose Project (http://dwarfmongooseresearch.weebly.com/). The second concerns the impact of anthropogenic noise on non-human animals. We investigate the behaviour, physiology, development and fitness of various fish, mammal and invertebrate species.
Additional affiliations
August 2016 - present
University of Bristol
Position
  • Professor of Behavioural Ecology
August 2012 - July 2016
University of Bristol
Position
  • Reader in Behavioural Ecology
October 2010 - July 2012
University of Bristol
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
Education
April 1999 - February 2003
University of Cambridge
Field of study
  • Zoology
October 1997 - September 1998
University of Oxford
Field of study
  • Biology: Integrative Biosciences
October 1993 - June 1996
University of Cambridge
Field of study
  • Zoology

Publications

Publications (186)
Article
Animals often gather information from other species by eavesdropping on signals intended for others. We review the extent, benefits, mechanisms, and ecological and evolutionary consequences of eavesdropping on other species’ alarm calls. Eavesdropping has been shown experimentally in about 70 vertebrate species, and can entail closely or distantly...
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Noise-generating human activities affect hearing, communication and movement in terrestrial and aquatic animals, but direct evidence for impacts on survival is rare. We examined effects of motorboat noise on post-settlement survival and physiology of a prey fish species and its performance when exposed to predators. Both playback of motorboat noise...
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Humans frequently trade goods and can track the amount they owe using memories of past exchanges. While nonhuman animals are also known to be capable of trading cooperative acts immediately for one another, more contentious is the possibility that there can be delayed rewards. We use detailed field observations, social-network analyses, and a playb...
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The social intelligence hypothesis (SIH) posits that within-group interactions drive cognitive evolution, but it has received equivocal support. We argue the SIH overlooks a major component of social life: interactions with conspecific outsiders. Competition for vital resources means conspecific outsiders present myriad threats and opportunities in...
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Coral reefs worldwide are increasingly damaged by anthropogenic stressors, necessitating novel approaches for their management. Maintaining healthy fish communities counteracts reef degradation, but degraded reefs smell and sound less attractive to settlement-stage fishes than their healthy states. Here, using a six-week field experiment, we demons...
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Historically, ecological monitoring of marine habitats has primarily relied on labour-intensive, non-automated survey methods. The field of passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) has demonstrated the potential of this practice to automate surveying in marine habitats. This has primarily been through the use of ‘ecoacoustic indices’ to quantify attribute...
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Conspecific audiences have frequently been shown to affect behaviour during competitive interactions. However, research on audience effects has focused almost exclusively on how individual observers influence dyadic contests. Few studies have investigated more complex social scenarios, such as when groups defending a collective territory against ou...
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Anthropogenic noise impacts are pervasive across taxa, ecosystems and the world. Here, we experimentally test the hypothesis that protecting vulnerable habitats from noise pollution can improve animal reproductive success. Using a season-long field manipulation with an established model system on the Great Barrier Reef, we demonstrate that limiting...
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Acoustic signals degrade and attenuate as they propagate through the environment, thus transmitting information with lower efficiency. The acoustic adaptation hypothesis (AAH) states that selection should shape the vocalizations of a species to maximize transmission through their habitat. A specific prediction of the AAH is that vocalizations will...
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Out-group conflict is rife in the natural world, occurring from primates to ants. Traditionally, research on this aspect of sociality has focused on the interactions between groups and their conspecific rivals, investigating contest function and characteristics, which group members participate and what determines who wins. In recent years, however,...
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Conflict between rival groups is rife in nature. While recent work has begun exploring the behavioural consequences of this intergroup conflict, studies have primarily considered just the 1–2 h immediately after single interactions with rivals or their cues. Using a habituated population of wild dwarf mongooses ( Helogale parvula ), we conducted we...
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Pantropical degradation of coral reefs is prompting considerable investment in their active restoration. However, current measures of restoration success are based largely on coral cover, which does not fully reflect ecosystem function or reef health. Soundscapes are an important aspect of reef health; loud and diverse soundscapes guide the recruit...
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In many species, within-group conflict leads to immediate avoidance of potential aggressors or increases in affiliation, but no studies have investigated delayed post-conflict management behaviour. Here, we experimentally test that possibility using a wild but habituated population of dwarf mongooses ( Helogale parvula ). First, we used natural and...
Article
The hypotheses in both target articles rely implicitly on much the same logic. For a “social-bonding” device to make sense, there must be an underlying reason why an otherwise-arbitrary behaviour sustains alliances – namely, credible signals of one's value to partners. To illustrate our points, we draw on the parallels with supposed bonding behavio...
Preprint
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Conflicts with conspecific outsiders are common in group-living species, from ants to primates, and are argued to be an important selective force in social evolution. However, whilst an extensive empirical literature exists on the behaviour exhibited during and immediately after interactions with rivals, only very few observational studies have con...
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Anthropogenic noise is a global pollutant known to affect the behaviour of individual animals in all taxa studied. However, there has been relatively little experimental testing of the effects of additional noise on social interactions between conspecifics, despite these forming a crucial aspect of daily life for most species. Here, we use establis...
Article
Animals rely on both personal and social information about danger to minimize risk, yet environmental conditions constrain information. Both visual obstructions and background noise can reduce detectability of predators, which may increase reliance on social information, such as from alarm calls. Furthermore, a combination of visual and auditory co...
Preprint
Full-text available
In many species, within-group conflict leads to immediate avoidance of potential aggressors or increases in affiliation, but no studies have investigated delayed post-conflict management behaviour. Here, we experimentally test that possibility using wild dwarf mongooses ( Helogale parvula ). First, we used natural and playback-simulated foraging di...
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In many social species, group members form strong social bonds. Such strong bonds are well-known to generate long-term fitness benefits, but they are also expected to influence short-term behavioural decisions. Here, we use field observations and an experimental manipulation to investigate whether variation in social-bond strength (as determined fr...
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Altruism between close relatives can be easily explained. However, paradoxes arise when organisms divert altruism towards more distantly related recipients. In some social insects, workers drift extensively between colonies and help raise less related foreign brood, seemingly reducing inclusive fitness. Since being highlighted by W. D. Hamilton, th...
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Oceans have become substantially noisier since the Industrial Revolution. Shipping, resource exploration, and infrastructure development have increased the anthrophony (sounds generated by human activities), whereas the biophony (sounds of biological origin) has been reduced by hunting, fishing, and habitat degradation. Climate change is affecting...
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A Correction to this paper has been published: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-20090-7
Article
Sex-biased dispersal is common in social species, though the dispersing sex may delay emigration if associated benefits are not immediately attainable. In the social Hymenoptera (ants, some bees and wasps), newly emerged males typically disperse from the natal nest whilst most females remain as philopatric helpers. The mechanisms regulating male di...
Article
Anthropogenic noise is a pollutant of global concern that has been shown to have a wide range of detrimental effects on multiple taxa. However, most noise studies to-date consider only overall population means, ignoring the potential for intraspecific variation in responses. Here, we used field experiments on Australia's Great Barrier Reef to asses...
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The evolution of altruism (helping a recipient at personal cost) often involves conflicts of interest. Recipients frequently prefer greater altruism than actors are prepared to provide. Coercion by recipients normally involves limiting an actor's options. Here, we consider the possibility of a coercive recipient limiting its own options. Forty year...
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Collective movement is critical to the survival of some animals. Despite substantial progress in understanding animal collectives such as fish shoals and bird flocks, it is unknown how collective behaviour is affected by changes in multiple environmental conditions that can interact as stressors. Using a fully factorial repeated-measures design, we...
Article
Communication plays a vital role in the social lives of many species and varies greatly in complexity. One possible way to increase communicative complexity is by combining signals into longer sequences, which has been proposed as a mechanism allowing species with a limited repertoire to increase their communicative output. In mammals, most studies...
Article
Reproductive conflicts are expected in societies where nonbreeding helpers retain the ability to produce offspring. Despite potential competition from reproductively capable nestmates in social wasps, egg laying tends to be monopolised by a single or relatively few queens. Genetic studies on reproductive partitioning in Polistes paper wasps suggest...
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Motorboats are a pervasive, growing source of anthropogenic noise in marine environments, with known impacts on fish physiology and behaviour. However, empirical evidence for the disruption of parental care remains scarce and stems predominantly from playback studies. Additionally, there is a paucity of experimental studies examining noise-mitigati...
Article
In group-living species, particularly cooperative breeders, all group members contribute to various behaviours but there is considerable variation between and within individuals in their contributions. While it is well established that there is variation due to differences in the costs and benefits for individuals of different sex, age and dominanc...
Article
Anthropogenic noise is an increasingly widespread pollutant, with a rapidly burgeoning literature demonstrating impacts on humans and other animals. However, most studies have simply considered if there is an effect of noise, examining the overall cohort response. Although substantial evidence exists for intraspecific variation in responses to othe...
Article
The ‘haplodiploidy hypothesis’ argues that haplodiploid inheritance in bees, wasps, and ants generates relatedness asymmetries that promote the evolution of altruism by females, who are less related to their offspring than to their sisters (‘supersister’ relatedness). However, a consensus holds that relatedness asymmetry can only drive the evolutio...
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Anthropogenic noise is an emergent ecological pollutant in both terrestrial and aquatic habitats. Human population growth, urbanisation, resource extraction, transport and motorised recreation lead to elevated noise that affects animal behaviour and physiology, impacting individual fitness. Currently, we have a poor mechanistic understanding of the...
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In many social species, individuals communally defend resources from conspecific outsiders. Participation in defence and in associated within-group interactions, both during and after contests with outgroup rivals, is expected to vary between group members because the threat presented by different outsiders is not the same to each individual. Howev...
Article
Whole-organism performance capacity is thought to play a key role in sexual selection, through its impacts on both intrasexual competition and intersexual mate choice. Based on data from elite sports, several studies have reported a positive association between facial attractiveness and athletic performance in humans, leading to claims that facial...
Article
Attempts to understand the fundamental forces shaping conflict between attacking and defending groups can be hampered by a narrow focus on humans and reductionist, oversimplified modelling. Further progress depends on recognising the striking parallels in between-group conflict across the animal kingdom, harnessing the power of experimental tests i...
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Anthropogenic noise is a recognized global pollutant, affecting a wide range of nonhuman animals. However, most research considers only whether noise pollution has an impact, ignoring that individuals within a species or population exhibit substantial variation in responses to stress. Here, we first outline how intrinsic characteristics (e.g., body...
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In social species, conspecific outsiders present various threats to groups and their members. These out-group threats are predicted to affect subsequent within-group interactions (e.g., affiliation and aggression) and individual behavior (e.g., foraging and vigilance decisions). However, experimental investigations of such consequences are rare, es...
Article
Explaining the evolution of helping behaviour in the eusocial insects where non‐reproductive (‘worker’) individuals help raise the offspring of other individuals (‘queens’), remains one of the most perplexing phenomena in the natural world. Polistes paper wasps are popular study models, as workers retain the ability to reproduce: such totipotency i...
Article
Environmental noise from anthropogenic and other sources affects many aspects of animal ecology and behaviour, including acoustic communication. Acoustic masking is often assumed in field studies to be the cause of compromised communication in noise, but other mechanisms could have similar effects. We tested experimentally how background noise disr...
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Social information varies in its reliability and relevance, requiring individuals to use rules to avoid inappropriate responses to false information. A simple rule is to respond only when a certain number of individuals provide similar information. Although individuals within social groups can use such numerical rules to assess conspecific informat...
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In social species, groups face a variety of threats from conspecific outsiders. Defensive actions are therefore common, but there is considerable variation in which individuals contribute and to what extent. There has been some theoretical exploration of this variation when the defence is of shared resources, but the relative contributions when a s...
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Anthropogenic noise can negatively impact many taxa worldwide. It is possible that in noisy, high-disturbance environments, the range and severity of impacts could diminish over time, but the influence of previous disturbance remains untested in natural conditions. This study demonstrates the effects of motorboat noise on the physiology of an endem...
Article
Territorial behavior is widespread throughout the animal kingdom, with responses to conspecific intruders differing depending on various ecological, life history, and social factors. One factor which has received considerable research attention is rival identity. Early work provided many examples of species exhibiting relatively stronger responses...
Article
Animals in natural communities gain information from members of other species facing similar ecological challenges [1-5], including many vertebrates that recognize the alarm calls of heterospecifics vulnerable to the same predators [6]. Learning is critical in explaining this widespread recognition [7-13], but there has been no test of the role of...
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Vertebrate alarm calls signal danger and often encode graded or categorical information about predator proximity or type. In addition to allowing communication with conspecifics, alarm calls are a valuable source of information for eavesdropping heterospecifics. However, although eavesdropping has been experimentally demonstrated in over 70 species...
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Coral reefs are increasingly degraded by climate-induced bleaching and storm damage. Reef recovery relies on recruitment of young fishes for the replenishment of functionally important taxa. Acoustic cues guide the orientation, habitat selection, and settlement of many fishes, but these processes may be impaired if degradation alters reef soundscap...
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The evolution of altruism-costly self-sacrifice in the service of others-has puzzled biologists since The Origin of Species. For half a century, attempts to understand altruism have developed around the concept that altruists may help relatives to have extra offspring in order to spread shared genes. This theory-known as inclusive fitness-is founde...
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Greater access to social information is a proposed benefit of group living [1]. However, individuals vary in the quantity and quality of information they provide [2], and prior knowledge about signaller reliability is likely important when receivers decide how to respond [3]. While dispersal causes regular changes in group membership [4], no experi...
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Human-made noise is contributing increasingly to ocean soundscapes. Its physical, physiological and behavioural effects on marine organisms are potentially widespread, but our understanding remains largely limited to intraspecific impacts. Here, we examine how motorboats affect an interspecific cleaning mutualism critical for coral reef fish health...
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Noise produced from a variety of human activities can affect the physiology and behaviour of individual animals, but whether noise disrupts the social behaviour of animals is largely unknown. Animal groups such as flocks of birds or shoals of fish use simple interaction rules to coordinate their movements with near neighbours. In turn, this coordin...
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Empirical investigations of the impacts of anthropogenic stressors on marine organisms are typically performed under controlled laboratory conditions, onshore mesocosms, or via offshore experiments with realistic (but uncontrolled) environmental variation. These approaches have merits, but onshore setups are generally small sized and fail to recrea...
Article
Many species produce alarm calls in response to predator threats. Whilst these can be general alert calls, some are urgency-based, indicating perceived threat level, some are predator-specific, indicating the predator type present, and some encode information about both urgency level and predator type. Predator-specific calls given to a narrow rang...
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Group-living species frequently pool individual information so as to reach consensus decisions such as when and where to move, or whether a predator is present. Such opinion-pooling has been demonstrated empirically, and theoretical models have been proposed to explain why group decisions are more reliable than individual decisions. Behavioural eco...