David N Fisher

David N Fisher
University of Aberdeen | ABDN · School of Biological Sciences

28.64
 · 
PhD

About

54
Publications
7,999
Reads
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539
Citations
Introduction
I study social interactions and the role they play in evolutionary and ecological processes.

Publications

Publications (54)
Article
Full-text available
Intra-group social stability is important for the long-term productivity and health of social organisms. We evaluated the effect of group size on group stability in the face of repeated social perturbations using a cooperatively breeding fish, Neolamprologus pulcher In a laboratory study, we compared both the social and physiological responses of i...
Article
Full-text available
Juvenile survival to first breeding is a key life-history stage for all taxa. Survival through this period can be particularly challenging when it coincides with harsh environmental conditions such as a winter climate or food scarcity, leading to highly variable cohort survival. However, the small size and dispersive nature of juveniles generally m...
Data
Infographic for "Territory acquisition mediates the influence of predators and climate on juvenile red squirrel survival"
Article
Full-text available
Groups of animals possess phenotypes such as collective behaviour, which may determine the fitness of group members. However, the stability and robustness to perturbations of collective phenotypes in natural conditions is not established. Furthermore, whether group phenotypes are transmitted from parent to offspring groups with fidelity is required...
Article
Many animal societies are susceptible to mass mortality events and collapse. Elucidating how environmental pressures determine patterns of collapse is important for understanding how such societies function and evolve. Using the social spider Stegodyphus dumicola, we investigated the environmental drivers of colony extinction along two precipitatio...
Preprint
Full-text available
Intra-group social stability is important for the long-term productivity and health of social organisms. We evaluated the effect of group size on group stability in the face of repeated social perturbations using a cooperatively breeding fish, Neolamprologus pulcher. In a laboratory study, we compared both the social and physiological responses of...
Preprint
Full-text available
Extended phenotypes are traits that exist outside the physical body of the organism. Despite their potential role in the lives of both the organisms that express them and other organisms that can be influenced by extended phenotypes, the consistency and covariance with morphological and behaviour traits of extended phenotypes is rarely evaluated, e...
Preprint
Full-text available
Groups of animals possess phenotypes such as collective behaviour, which may determine the fitness of group members. However, the stability and robustness to perturbations of collective phenotypes in natural conditions is not established. Furthermore, whether group phenotypes are transmitted from parent to offspring groups is required for understan...
Article
Full-text available
Extreme events, such as tropical cyclones, are destructive and influential forces. However, observing and recording the ecological effects of these statistically improbable, yet profound ‘black swan’ weather events is logistically difficult. By anticipating the trajectory of tropical cyclones, and sampling populations before and after they make lan...
Article
Full-text available
Reproductive success is often highly skewed in animal populations. Yet the processes leading to this are not always clear. Similarly, connections in animal social networks are often nonrandomly distributed, with some individuals with many connections and others with few, yet whether there are simple explanations for this pattern has not been determ...
Article
Identifying the traits that foster group survival in contrasting environments is important for understanding local adaptation in social systems. Here we evaluate the relationship between the aggressiveness of social spider colonies and their persistence along an elevation gradient using the Amazonian spider, Anelosimus eximius. We found that coloni...
Article
Full-text available
The age of potential mates has been proposed to be an important target for mate choice by females. Alternative hypotheses predict preferences in either direction. Females might be expected to prefer older males because such males have demonstrated their capacity to survive. Alternatively, they might prefer younger males that have not accumulated de...
Preprint
Full-text available
Natural selection occurs at many levels. We evaluated selection acting on collectives at a level of multilevel selection analysis not yet quantified: within and between clusters of groups. We did so by monitoring the performance of natural colonies of social spiders with contrasting foraging aggressiveness in clusters of various sizes. Within-clust...
Article
Rigorously evaluating of the ecological impacts of cyclones is logistically challenging. Here we issue a call-to-action to organize a global collaboration initiative to advance cyclone ecology. If successful, this will allow the international community to pose some of the most exciting questions in ecology and provide definitive answers.
Article
Full-text available
Populations of animals are comprised of many individuals, interacting in multiple contexts, and displaying heterogeneous behaviours. The interactions among individuals can often create population dynamics that are fundamentally deterministic yet display unpredictable dynamics. Animal populations can therefore be thought of as complex systems. Compl...
Preprint
Full-text available
Surprisingly little is known about the evolutionary impacts of rare but extreme black swan events, like tropical cyclones. By intercepting three cyclones in fall 2018, we evaluated cyclone-induced selection on collective behavior in a group-living spider. We further examined whether historic frequencies of cyclone landfalls are correlated with geog...
Preprint
Full-text available
Many animal societies are susceptible to mass mortality events and collapse. Elucidating how environmental pressures determine patterns of collapse is key for our understanding of social evolution. Using the social spider Stegodyphus dumicola we investigated the environmental drivers of colony extinction along two precipitation gradients across sou...
Preprint
Full-text available
Identifying the traits that foster group survival in contrasting environments is important for understanding local adaptation in social systems. Here we evaluate the relationship between the aggressiveness of social spider colonies and their persistence along an elevation gradient using the Amazonian spider, Anelosimus eximius. We found that coloni...
Preprint
Full-text available
Colonies of social insects exhibit a spectacular variety of life histories. Here we documented the degree of variation in colony life-history traits, mostly related to productivity, in two species of wild paper wasps. We then tested for associations between colony life-history traits to look for trade-offs or positively associated syndromes, and ex...
Article
Full-text available
Life-history theories of senescence are based on the existence of a trade-off in resource allocation between body maintenance and reproduction. This putative trade-off means that environmental and demographic factors affecting the costs of reproduction should be associated with changes in patterns of senescence. In many species, competition among m...
Preprint
Full-text available
Juvenile survival to first breeding is a key life history stage. Survival through this period can be particularly challenging when it coincides with harsh environmental conditions like winter climate or food scarcity, and so cohort survival can be highly variable. However, the small size and dispersive nature of juveniles makes studying their survi...
Article
Organisms can affect one another's phenotypes when they socially interact. Indirect genetic effects occur when an individual's phenotype is affected by genes expressed in another individual. These heritable effects can enhance or reduce adaptive potential, thereby accelerating or reversing evolutionary change. Quantifying these social effects is th...
Article
Interactions between organisms are ubiquitous and have important consequences for phenotypes and fitness. Individuals can even influence those they never meet, if they have extended phenotypes that alter the environments others experience. North American red squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) guard food hoards, an extended phenotype that typically...
Article
We generally expect traits to evolve in the same direction as selection. However, many organisms possess traits that appear to be costly for individuals, while plant and animal breeding experiments reveal that selection may lead to no response or even negative responses to selection. We formalise both of these instances as cases of “opposite respon...
Article
Full-text available
There are many situations in nature where we expect traits to evolve but not necessarily for mean fitness to increase. However, these scenarios are hard to reconcile simultaneously with Fisher's fundamental theorem of natural selection (FTNS) and the Price identity (PI). The consideration of indirect genetic effects (IGEs) on fitness reconciles the...
Article
Full-text available
The disposable soma theory of ageing predicts that when organisms invest in reproduction they do so by reducing their investment in body maintenance, inducing a trade‐off between reproduction and survival. Experiments on invertebrates in the lab provide support for the theory by demonstrating the predicted responses to manipulation of reproductive...
Article
Full-text available
Declines in survival and performance with advancing age (senescence) have been widely documented in natural populations, but whether patterns of senescence across traits reflect a common underlying process of biological ageing remains unclear. Senescence is typically characterised via assessments of the rate of change in mortality with age (actuari...
Preprint
Full-text available
Reproductive success is often highly skewed in animal populations. Yet the processes leading to this are not always clear. Similarly, connections in animal social networks are often non-randomly distributed, with some individuals with many connections and others with few, yet whether there are simple explanations for this pattern has not been deter...
Preprint
Full-text available
There are many situations in nature where we expect traits to evolve but not necessarily for mean fitness to increase. However, these scenarios are hard to reconcile simultaneously with Fisher's Fundamental Theorem of Natural Selection and the Price identity. The consideration of indirect genetic effects on fitness reconciles these fundamental theo...
Preprint
Full-text available
Interactions between organisms are ubiquitous and have important consequences for phenotypes and fitness. Individuals can even influence those they never meet, if they have extended phenotypes which mean the environments others experience are altered. North American red squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) guard food hoards, an extended phenotype th...
Article
Full-text available
The use of linear mixed effects models (LMMs) is increasingly common in the analysis of biological data. Whilst LMMs offer a flexible approach to modelling a broad range of data types, ecological data are often complex and require complex model structures, and the fitting and interpretation of such models is not always straightforward. The ability...
Preprint
Full-text available
Organisms can affect one another's phenotypes when they socially interact. Indirect genetic effects occur when an individual's phenotype is affected by genes expressed in another individual. These heritable effects can enhance or reduce adaptive potential, thereby accelerating or reversing evolutionary change. Quantifying these social effects is th...
Article
Full-text available
Individuals frequently show long‐term consistency in behaviour over their lifetimes, referred to as “personality.” Various models, revolving around the use of resources and how they are valued by individuals, attempt to explain the maintenance of these different behavioural types within a population, and evaluating them is the key for understanding...
Article
Behavioural differences may arise in the absence of genetic or environmental variation. Chaotic dynamics may influence behavioural development, and so this among-individual variation. We discuss methods and experimental designs to test this idea. Ultimately, nonlinear and chaotic behavioural development may explain much of natural variation.
Article
Full-text available
Background Mortality of seabirds due to anthropogenic causes, especially entrapment in fishing gear, is a matter of increasing international concern. This study aimed at characterising the gross pathology of seabirds that drowned in fishing nets and comparing it with that in other common causes of mortality. Results Post-mortem examinations were p...
Article
Full-text available
The social environment is both an important agent of selection for most organisms, and an emergent property of their interactions. As an aggregation of interactions among members of a population, the social environment is a product of many sets of relationships, and so can be represented as a network or matrix. Social network analysis in animals ha...
Article
The social environment is a pervasive influence on the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of animal populations. Recently, social network analysis has provided an increasingly powerful and diverse toolset to enable animal behaviour researchers to quantify the social environment of animals and the impact that it has on ecological and evolutionary...
Article
Many animals engage in contests with conspecifics for access to resources. Understanding which resources individuals are contesting for, and what influences the outcome is central to our understanding of contest behaviour. We initially observed female bees of the genus Tetralonia (sp. n.) aggressively competing for access to burrows in the ground,...
Article
Full-text available
Individuals often interact more closely with some members of the population (e.g. offspring, siblings or group members) than they do with other individuals. This structuring of interactions can lead to multilevel natural selection, where traits expressed at the group-level influence fitness alongside individual-level traits. Such multilevel selecti...
Chapter
Networks describe a range of social, biological and technical phenomena. An important property of a network is its degree correlation or assortativity, describing how nodes in the network associate based on their number of connections. Social networks are typically thought to be distinct from other networks in being assortative (possessing positive...
Article
Full-text available
Animals are embedded in dynamically changing networks of relationships with conspecifics. These dynamic networks are fundamental aspects of their environment, creating selection on behaviours and other traits. However, most social network-based approaches in ecology are constrained to considering networks as static, despite several calls for such a...
Article
Full-text available
Background A central part of an animal's environment is its interactions with conspecifics. There has been growing interest in the potential to capture these interactions in the form of a social network. Such networks can then be used to examine how relationships among individuals affect ecological and evolutionary processes. However, in the contex...
Article
Full-text available
Sexual selection results from variation in success at multiple stages in the mating process, including competition before and after mating. The relationship between these forms of competition, such as whether they trade-off or reinforce one another, influences the role of sexual selection in evolution. However, the relationship between these 2 form...
Article
Full-text available
Investigating patterns of among and within-individual trait variation in populations is essential to understanding how selection shapes phenotypes. Behavior is often the most flexible aspect of the phenotype, and to understand how it is affected by selection, we need to examine how consistent individuals are. However, it is not well understood whet...
Article
Full-text available
Examining the relevance of 'animal personality' involves linking consistent among- and within-individual behavioural variation to fitness in the wild. Studies aiming to do this typically assay personality in captivity and rely on the assumption that measures of traits in the laboratory reflect their expression in nature. We examined this rarely tes...
Article
Full-text available
Cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) are important in mate choice in many insects, and may be used for species recognition if CHC profiles differ between potentially hybridizing species. In the sibling field cricket species Gryllus campestris and G. bimaculatus, females of G. bimaculatus are tolerant towards G. campestris males and can mate with them. How...
Article
Full-text available
The rate of female remating can have important impacts on a species, from affecting conflict and cooperation within families, to population viability and gene flow. However, determining the level of polyandry in a species can be difficult, with information on the mating system of many species being based on a single experiment, or completely absent...

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Projects

Projects (2)
Project
We aim to unravel mechanisms underpinning local adaptation using genetically divergent populations of wild field crickets along an altitude gradient. We are currently investigating the roles of oxidative stress, telomere attrition and behavior as mechanisms underpinning life history trade-offs.