Daniel Noble

Daniel Noble
Australian National University | ANU · Division of Ecology and Evolution

PhD

About

170
Publications
25,396
Reads
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2,555
Citations
Citations since 2016
101 Research Items
2344 Citations
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Introduction
I am broadly interested in behavioural and evolutionary ecology, particularly with respect to understanding the role of sexual and natural selection in shaping phenotypic traits. I use reptiles as model organisms and combine laboratory and field experiments with a wide array of techniques (molecular genetics, assays of immune function and circulating androgens) to test questions and hypotheses in these areas.
Additional affiliations
January 2019 - April 2019
Australian National University
Position
  • Lecturer
May 2015 - present
UNSW Sydney
Position
  • ARC DECRA Fellow
April 2015 - April 2019
Macquarie University
Position
  • Research Associate
Education
January 2010 - November 2013
Macquarie University
Field of study
  • Evolutionary Behavioural Ecology
April 2007 - April 2009
University of Guelph
Field of study
  • Evolutionary Biology
January 2003 - January 2007
University of Guelph
Field of study
  • Ecology

Publications

Publications (170)
Preprint
Selective processes act on phenotypic variation yet the evolutionary potential of any given trait relies on underlying heritable variation. Developmental plasticity is an important source of phenotypic variation, but it can also promote changes in heritability by modifying environmental sources of variability. Here, we quantified the influence of d...
Preprint
Selective processes act on phenotypic variation yet the evolutionary potential of any given trait relies on underlying heritable variation. Developmental plasticity is an important source of phenotypic variation, but it can also promote changes in heritability by modifying environmental sources of variability. Here, we quantified the influence of d...
Article
Full-text available
The obesity epidemic, largely driven by the accessibility of ultra‐processed high‐energy foods, is one of the most pressing public health challenges of the 21st century. Consequently, there is increasing concern about the impacts of diet‐induced obesity on behavior and cognition. While research on this matter continues, to date, no study has explic...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract The obesity epidemic is concerning as obesity appears to negatively impact cognition and behavior. Furthermore, some studies suggest that this negative effect could be carried across generations from both mothers and fathers although evidence is not consistent. Here, we attempt to address how obesogenic diets in the parental generation (F0...
Preprint
Collaborative assessments of direct replicability of empirical studies in the medical and social sciences have exposed alarmingly low rates of replicability, a phenomenon dubbed the ‘replication crisis’. Poor replicability has spurred cultural changes targeted at improving reliability in these disciplines. Given the absence of equivalent replicatio...
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Full-text available
Understanding the factors affecting thermal tolerance is crucial for predicting the impact climate change will have on ectotherms. However, the role developmental plasticity plays in allowing populations to cope with thermal extremes is poorly understood. Here, we meta‐analyse how thermal tolerance is initially and persistently impacted by early (e...
Preprint
Full-text available
One of the most pressing questions we face as biologists is to understand how climate change will affect the evolutionary dynamics of natural populations and how these dynamics will in turn affect population recovery. Increasing evidence shows that sexual selection favours population viability and local adaptation. However, sexual selection can als...
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Full-text available
Conspicuously coloured signals may evolve via sexual selection to be ornaments or armaments, thereby conferring a fitness advantage to their bearer. Conversely, conspicuous colours may also evolve under natural selection as either aposematic signals or deimatic displays that deter attacks from predators. While conspicuous colour patches may evolve...
Preprint
The log response ratio, lnRR, is the most frequently used effect size statistic in ecology. However, missing standard deviations (SDs) are often present in meta-analytic datasets, preventing us from obtaining the sampling variance for lnRR. We propose three new methods to deal with missing SDs. All three methods use the square of the weighted avera...
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Full-text available
Conspicuous social and sexual signals are predicted to experience pronounced character release when natural selection via predation is relaxed. However, we have few good examples of this phenomenon in the wild and none in species with dynamic color change. Here, we show that Jackson's chameleons inadvertently introduced from Kenya to Hawaii (Oahu),...
Article
Full-text available
Phenotypic plasticity is an important mechanism that allows populations to adjust to changing environments. Early life experiences can have lasting impacts on how individuals respond to environmental variation later in life (i.e., individual reaction norms), altering the capacity for populations to respond to selection. Here, we incubated lizard em...
Article
Meta-analysis is a powerful tool used to generate quantitatively informed answers to pressing global challenges. By distilling data from broad sets of research designs and study systems into standardised effect sizes, meta-analyses provide physiologists with opportunities to estimate overall effect sizes and understand the drivers of effect variabi...
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Full-text available
During the vulnerable stages of early life, most ectothermic animals experience hourly and diel fluctuations in temperature as air temperatures change. While we know a great deal about how different constant temperatures impact the phenotypes of developing ectotherms, we know remarkably little about the impacts of temperature fluctuations on the de...
Preprint
The obesity epidemic is among the most serious and rapidly growing public health challenges of the 21st century. This rapid increase is concerning as obesity appears to negatively impact cognition and behaviour. Furthermore, some studies suggest that this negative effect could be carried across generations from both mothers and fathers although evi...
Preprint
Full-text available
The obesity epidemic, largely driven by the accessibility of ultra-processed high-energy foods, is one of the most pressing public health challenges of the 21st century. Consequently, there is increasing concern about the impacts of diet-induced obesity on behaviour and cognition. While research on this matter continues, to date, no study has expli...
Article
The notion that men are more variable than women has become embedded into scientific thinking. For mental traits like personality, greater male variability has been partly attributed to biology, underpinned by claims that there is generally greater variation among males than females in non-human animals due to stronger sexual selection on males. Ho...
Article
Full-text available
There is great diversity in social behavior across the animal kingdom. Understanding the factors responsible for this diversity can help inform theory about how sociality evolves and is maintained. The Australian Tree Skink ( Egernia striolata ) exhibits inter- and intra-population variability in sociality and is therefore a good system for informi...
Article
Organisms use labile traits to respond to different conditions over short timescales. When a population experiences the same conditions, we might expect all individuals to adjust their trait expression to the same, optimal, value, thereby minimising phenotypic variation. Instead, variation abounds. Individuals substantially differ not only from eac...
Article
Full-text available
Publication bias threatens the validity of quantitative evidence from meta‐analyses as it results in some findings being overrepresented in meta‐analytic datasets because they are published more frequently or sooner (e.g., ‘positive’ results). Unfortunately, methods to test for the presence of publication bias, or assess its impact on meta‐analytic...
Article
Increases in phenotypic variation under extreme (e.g. novel or stressful) environmental conditions is emerging as a crucial process through which evolutionary adaptation can occur. Lack of prior stabilising selection, as well as potential instability of developmental processes in these environments, may lead to a release of phenotypic variation tha...
Article
Obesity is a major health condition that affects millions worldwide. There is an increased interest in understanding the adverse outcomes associated with obesogenic diets. A multitude of studies have investigated the transgenerational impacts of maternal and parental obesogenic diets on subsequent generations of offspring, but results have largely...
Preprint
Obesity is a major health condition that affects millions worldwide. There is an increased interest in understanding the adverse outcomes associated with obesogenic diets. A multitude of studies have investigated the transgenerational impacts of maternal and parental obesogenic diets on subsequent generations of offspring, but results have largely...
Article
Full-text available
Ecological and evolutionary research questions are increasingly requiring the integration of research fields along with larger datasets to address fundamental local and global scale problems. Unfortunately, these agendas are often in conflict with limited funding and a need to balance animal welfare concerns. Planned missing data design (PMDD), whe...
Preprint
Phenotypic plasticity is an important mechanism that allows populations to adjust to changing environments. Plastic responses induced by early life experiences can have lasting impacts on how individuals respond to environmental variation later in life (i.e., reversible plasticity). Developmental environments can also influence repeatability of pla...
Article
Recently, Song et al. (2020) conducted a simulation study using different methods to deal with non‐independence resulting from effect sizes originating from the same paper – a common occurrence in ecological meta‐analyses. The main methods that were of interest in their simulations were: 1) a standard random‐effects model used in combination with a...
Article
Full-text available
Since the early 1990s, ecologists and evolutionary biologists have aggregated primary research using meta-analytic methods to understand ecological and evolutionary phenomena. Meta-analyses can resolve long-standing disputes, dispel spurious claims, and generate new research questions. At their worst, however, meta-analysis publications are wolves...
Article
While foraging or during social interactions, animals may benefit from judging relative quantity. Individuals may select larger prey or a patch with more food and, likewise, it may pay to track the number and type of individuals and social interactions. We tested for spontaneous quantity discrimination in the gidgee skink (Egernia stokesii), a fami...
Preprint
Full-text available
1.Publication bias threatens the validity of quantitative evidence from meta-analyses as it results in some findings being overrepresented in meta-analytic datasets because they are published more frequently or sooner (e.g., ‘positive’ results). Unfortunately, methods to test for the presence of publication bias, or assess its impact on meta-analyt...
Article
Full-text available
Physiological processes vary widely across individuals and can influence how individuals respond to environmental change. Repeatability in how metabolic rate changes across temperatures (i.e. metabolic thermal plasticity) can influence mass‐scaling exponents in different thermal environments. Moreover, repeatable plastic responses are necessary for...
Article
Full-text available
Physical exercise not only helps to improve physical health but can also enhance brain development and cognition. Recent reports on parental (both maternal and paternal) effects raise the possibility that parental exercise may provide benefits to offspring through intergenerational inheritance. However, the general magnitude and consistency of pare...
Article
Background Zebrafish (Danio rerio) are increasingly being used to model anxiety. A common behavioral assay employed for assessing anxiety-like behaviors in zebrafish is the “novel tank test”. We hypothesized that using deeper tanks in this test would result in greater between-individual variation in behavioral responses and a more ‘repeatable’ assa...
Article
Full-text available
Diving ectothermic vertebrates are an important component of many aquatic ecosystems, but the threat of climate warming is particularly salient to this group. Dive durations typically decrease as water temperatures rise; yet, we lack an understanding of whether this trend is apparent in all diving ectotherms and how this group will fare under clima...
Preprint
Live birth is a key innovation that has evolved from egg laying over 100 times in reptiles. One significant feature in this transition is the thermal conditions experienced by developing embryos. Adult lizards and snakes often have preferred body temperatures that can be lethal to developing embryos and should prevent egg retention: how has vivipar...
Article
Full-text available
We tested learning and behavioral flexibility in family-living gidgee skinks (Egernia stokesii) using a multistage visual discrimination task that included acquisition and reversal stages using simple and compound stimuli composed of black shapes superimposed on a colored background. We evaluated how lizards learn compound cues through a probe test...
Preprint
Strong sexual selection frequently favours males that increase their reproductive success by harming females, with potentially negative consequences for the growth of populations. Understanding what factors may resolve this reproductive “tragedy of the commons” is a key question in evolutionary biology. Studies addressing the evolution of sexual co...
Article
Biologists have long appreciated the critical role energy turnover plays in understanding variation in performance and fitness among individuals. Whole-organism metabolic studies have provided key insights into fundamental ecological and evolutionary processes. However, constraints operating at subcellular levels—such as those operating within the...
Article
Full-text available
Sexual selection shapes the adaptive landscape in complex ways that lead to trait integration. Much of our understanding of selection comes from studies of morphological traits. However, few studies attempt to quantify the form and direction of selection on performance even though it is predicted to be a more direct target of selection in nature. W...
Article
Two decades ago, von Schantz et al . (von Schantz T, Bensch S, Grahn M, Hasselquist D, Wittzell H. 1999 Good genes, oxidative stress and condition-dependent sexual signals. Proc. R. Soc. B 266, 1–12. ( doi:10.1098/rspb.1999.0597 )) united oxidative stress (OS) biology with sexual selection and life-history theory. This set the scene for analysis of...
Preprint
Background: Zebrafish (Danio rerio) are increasingly being used to model anxiety. A common behavioral assay employed for assessing anxiety-like behaviors in zebrafish is the “novel tank test”. We hypothesized that using ‘deeper’ tanks (truly ‘novel’) would result in greater between-individual variation in behavioral responses, and result in a more...
Article
Full-text available
A recent meta‐analysis concluded, ‘transgenerational effects are widespread, strong and persistent’. We identify biases in the literature search, data and analyses, questioning that conclusion. Re‐analyses indicate few studies actually tested transgenerational effects – making it challenging to disentangle condition‐transfer from anticipatory paren...
Article
Full-text available
Biomedical and clinical sciences are experiencing a renewed interest in the fact that males and females differ in many anatomic, physiological, and behavioral traits. Sex differences in trait variability, however, are yet to receive similar recognition. In medical science, mammalian females are assumed to have higher trait variability due to estrou...
Article
Recently, there has been a surge in cognition research using non-avian reptile systems. As a diverse group of animals, non-avian reptiles [turtles, the tuatara, crocodylians, and squamates (lizards, snakes and amphisbaenids)] are good model systems for answering questions related to cognitive ecology, from the role of the environment on the brain,...
Preprint
Full-text available
1. Many animal species show individual differences in behaviour that are partially consistent across repeated measurements. Commonly referred to as personality traits, differences in average behaviours are often correlated across individuals, forming ‘behavioural syndromes’ (e.g. individuals who are more aggressive are also bolder).2. Generally, di...
Article
A central question in ecology and evolution is to understand why sexual selection varies so much in strength across taxa; it has long been known that ecological factors are crucial to this. Temperature is a particularly salient abiotic ecological factor that modulates a wide range of physiological, morphological and behavioural traits, impacting in...
Article
Full-text available
Phenotypic responses to a novel or extreme environment are initially plastic, only later to be followed by genetic change. Whether or not environmentally induced phenotypes are sufficiently recurrent and fit to leave a signature in adaptive evolution is debated. Here, we analyze multivariate data from 34 plant reciprocal transplant studies to test:...
Preprint
Full-text available
Biomedical and clinical sciences are experiencing a renewed interest in the fact that males and females differ in many anatomic, physiological, and behavioral traits. Sex differences in trait variability, however, are yet to receive similar recognition. In medical science, mammalian females are assumed to have higher trait variability due to estrus...
Article
“Classic” forest plots show the effect sizes from individual studies and the aggregate effect from a meta‐analysis. However, in ecology and evolution meta‐analyses routinely contain over 100 effect sizes, making the classic forest plot of limited use. We surveyed 102 meta‐analyses in ecology and evolution, finding that only 11% use the classic fore...
Preprint
‘Classical’ forest plots show the effect sizes from individual studies and the aggregate effect from a meta-analysis. However, in ecology and evolution meta-analyses routinely contain over 100 effect sizes, making the classical forest plot of limited use. We surveyed 102 meta-analyses in ecology and evolution, finding that only 11% use the classica...
Preprint
Full-text available
Recently, there has been a surge in cognition research in non-avian reptiles. As a diverse group of animals, non-avian reptiles (turtles, the tuatara, crocodilians, and squamates - lizards, snakes and amphisbaenids) have shown to be good model systems for answering questions related to cognitive ecology; from the role of the environment in brain, b...
Preprint
Full-text available
1.Physiological processes of individuals can be highly variable and there is mounting evidence that individuals can differ in how they respond to environmental change. The ability for individuals to reversibly adjust their metabolic rate in response to temperature (i.e., metabolic thermal plasticity) may affect mass-scaling at the population level....
Article
Keywords: age difference altricialeprecocial cognition ID/ED attentional set shifting squamates In altricial species, young rely on parental care and brain maturation mainly occurs after birth. In pre-cocial species, young are born at a more advanced developmental stage in need of less or no parental care and brain development is mostly completed a...
Article
Environmentally induced phenotypes have been proposed to initiate and bias adaptive evolutionary change toward particular directions. The potential for this to happen depends in part on how well plastic responses are aligned with the additive genetic variance and covariance in traits. Using meta-analysis, we demonstrate that plastic responses to no...
Article
Full-text available
Response inhibition (inhibiting prepotent responses) is needed for reaching a more favourable goal in situations where reacting automatically would be detrimental. Inhibiting prepotent responses to resist the temptation of a stimulus in certain situations, such as a novel food item, can directly affect an animal’s survival. In humans and dogs, resp...
Preprint
Full-text available
A central question in ecology and evolution is to understand why sexual selection varies so much in strength across taxa. Here, we contend that temperature, a critical abiotic ecological factor at a global taxonomic scale, can be a critical modulator of sexual selection. We outline the main pathways by which temperature can affect the strength of s...
Article
An exponential increase in scientific publications requires informative and integrative reviews to provide a detailed synthesis of a particular research field, and this has resulted in the emergence of novel methods for synthesizing heterogeneous research. Research weaving provides a novel framework that combines bibliometrics and systematic mappin...
Preprint
Full-text available
We propose, and formalize, a new framework for research synthesis of both evidence and influence, named ‘research weaving’. It summarizes and visualizes information content, history, and networks among a collection of diverse publication types on any given topic. Research weaving achieves this feat by combining the power of two methodologies: syste...
Article
1.Research synthesis, such as comparative and meta‐analyses, requires the extraction of effect sizes from primary literature, which are commonly calculated from descriptive statistics. However, the exact values of such statistics are commonly hidden in figures. 2.Extracting descriptive statistics from figures can be a slow process that is not easil...
Article
Full-text available
Organisms that regularly encounter stressful environments are expected to use cues to develop an appropriate phenotype. Water fleas (Daphnia spp.) are exposed to toxic cyanobacteria during seasonal algal blooms, which reduce growth and reproductive investment. Because generation time is typically shorter than the exposure to cyanobacteria, maternal...
Article
Behavioural flexibility, the ability to adjust behaviour to environmental change by adapting existing skills to novel situations, is key to coping with, for example, complex social interactions, seasonal changes in food availability or detecting predators. We tested the tree skink, Egernia striolata, a family-living skink from eastern Australia, in...
Article
Fundamental to the definition of parental care is that care confers benefits to the offspring. However, the mechanisms resulting in these benefits remain poorly understood, particularly in species where postnatal care is not obligatory. Here, we address this shortcoming using a lizard, Liopholis whitii, in which family life is facultative and relat...
Article
Full-text available
Social learning is thought to be advantageous as it allows an animal to gather information quickly without engaging in costly trial-and-error learning. However, animals should be selective about when and whom they learn from. Familiarity is predicted to positively influence an animal’s reliance on social learning; yet, few studies have empirically...