Ella Cole

Ella Cole
University of Oxford | OX · Department of Zoology

About

49
Publications
15,041
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2,063
Citations
Additional affiliations
January 2012 - present
University of Oxford
Position
  • PostDoc Position

Publications

Publications (49)
Article
Full-text available
Collective behaviors are typical for many social species and can have fitness benefits for participating individuals. To maximize the benefits obtained from group living, individuals must coordinate their behaviors to some extent. What are the mechanisms that make certain individuals more likely to initiate collective behaviors, for example, by tak...
Article
Full-text available
While there is overwhelming evidence for phenological responses of animal and plant populations to climate change, most studies have been conducted at the level of entire populations, thus neglecting the scale at which much selection operates and at which animals and plants respond to their environments. Here, using data from a 60-year study, we de...
Article
Full-text available
Heterogeneous selection is often proposed as a key mechanism maintaining repeatable behavioral variation (“animal personality”) in wild populations. Previous studies largely focused on temporal variation in selection within single populations. The relative importance of spatial versus temporal variation remains unexplored, despite these processes h...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding why individuals carry out behaviours that benefit others, especially genetically unrelated others, has been a major undertaking in many fields and particularly in biology. Here, we focus on the cooperation literature from natural populations and present the benefits of a social network approach in terms of how it can help to identify...
Article
Climate warming has caused the seasonal timing of many components of ecological food chains to advance. In the context of trophic interactions, the match–mismatch hypothesis postulates that differential shifts can lead to phenological asynchrony with negative impacts for consumers. However, at present there has been no consistent analysis of the li...
Article
Full-text available
Climate change has been shown to induce shifts in the timing of life-history events. As a result, interactions between species can become disrupted, with potentially detrimental effects. Predicting these consequences has proven challenging. We apply structured population models to a well-characterised great tit-caterpillar model system and identify...
Article
Full-text available
1. The integration and synthesis of the data in different areas of science is drastically slowed and hindered by a lack of standards and networking programmes. Long‐term studies of individually marked animals are not an exception. These studies are especially important as instrumental for understanding evolutionary and ecological processes in the w...
Preprint
Full-text available
The integration and synthesis of the data in different areas of science is drastically slowed and hindered by a lack of standards and networking programmes. Long-term studies of individually marked animals are not an exception. These studies are especially important as instrumental for understanding evolutionary and ecological processes in the wild...
Article
Full-text available
Animals use behavioural cues from others to make decisions in a variety of contexts. There is growing evidence, from a range of taxa, that information about the locations of food patches can spread through a population via social connections. However, it is not known whether information about their quality transmits similarly. We studied foraging b...
Article
In many species, individuals gather information about their environment both through direct experience and through information obtained from others. Social learning, or the acquisition of information from others, can occur both within and between species and may facilitate the rapid spread of antipredator behaviour. Within birds, acoustic signals a...
Article
Full-text available
Global climate change is altering the timing of life history events for species living in seasonal environments. These shifts in phenology can lead to the disruption of interspecific relationships with implications for individual fitness. Predicting phenological change and its population level consequences can provide insights into population persi...
Article
Full-text available
An individual’s fitness is not only influenced by its own phenotype, but by the phenotypes of interacting conspecifics. This is likely to be particularly true when considering fitness gains and losses caused by extrapair matings, as they depend directly on the social environment. While previous work has explored effects of dyadic interactions, limi...
Preprint
Full-text available
Animals use behavioural cues from others to make decisions in a variety of contexts. There is growing evidence, from a range of taxa, that information about the locations of food patches can spread through a population via social connections. However, it is not known whether information about the quality of potential food sources transmits similarl...
Preprint
Full-text available
A BSTRACT Natural populations and communities consist of individuals that differ in their phenotypes. There is increasing evidence in community ecology that consistent intraspecific variation in behaviour changes the outcome of ecological interactions. Differences in intra- and inter-specific interactions are expected to play a major role in determ...
Article
Leaf phenology is a major driver of ecosystem functioning in temperate forests, and a robust indicator of climate change. Both the inter-annual and inter-population variability of leaf phenology have received much attention in the literature; in contrast, the within-population variability of leaf phenology has been far less studied. Beyond its impa...
Article
1.Changes in the timing of life history events (phenology) are a widespread consequence of climate change. Predicting population resilience requires knowledge of how phenology is likely to change over time, which can be gained by identifying the specific environmental cues that drive phenological events. Cue identification is often achieved with st...
Article
Full-text available
Inferring adaptation and evolutionary change by combining data from field studies and genomics is an exciting new area in evolutionary biology but also presents challenges. These challenges are particularly acute when the focal trait has a polygenic architecture, because many long‐term field studies are sample‐size‐limited compared to studies of hu...
Article
Full-text available
Wintering songbirds have been widely shown to make economic foraging decisions to manage the changing balance of risks from predation and starvation over the course of the day. In this study, we ask whether the communication and use of information about food availability differ throughout the day. First, we assessed temporal variation in food-relat...
Article
Full-text available
Mated pair bonds are integral to many animal societies, yet how individual variation in behaviour influences their formation remains largely unknown. In a population of wild great tits (Parus major), we show that personality shapes pair bonding: proactive males formed stronger pre-breeding pair bonds by meeting their future partners sooner and incr...
Preprint
Full-text available
Advances in the timing of reproduction in temperate species are some of the most well documented biotic responses to increasing global temperatures. However, the magnitude and rate of these advances in timing are not equal across all taxonomic groups. These differences can lead to disruption of interspecific relationships if species respond differe...
Article
High density SNP microarrays (‘SNP chips’) are a rapid, accurate and efficient method for genotyping several hundred thousand polymorphisms in large numbers of individuals. While SNP chips are routinely used in human genetics and in animal and plant breeding, they are less widely used in evolutionary and ecological research. In this paper we descri...
Article
We used extensive data from a long-term study of great tits (Parus major) in the United Kingdom and Netherlands to better understand how genetic signatures of selection translate into variation in fitness and phenotypes. We found that genomic regions under differential selection contained candidate genes for bill morphology and used genetic archite...
Article
Full-text available
For organisms living in seasonal environments, synchronizing the peak energetic demands of reproduction with peak food availability is a key challenge. Understanding the extent to which animals can adjust behavior to optimize reproductive timing, and the cues they use to do this, is essential for predicting how they will respond to future climate c...
Article
Full-text available
Animal personalities can influence social interactions among individuals, and thus have major implications for population processes and structure. Few studies have investigated the significance of the social context of animal personalities, and such research has largely focused on the social organization of nonterritorial populations. Here we addre...
Article
Full-text available
Many organisms rely on synchronizing the timing of their life-history events with those of other trophic levels—known as phenological matching—for survival or successful reproduction. In temperate deciduous forests, the extent of matching with the budburst date of key tree species is of particular relevance for many herbivorous insects and, in turn...
Article
An individual's foraging behaviour and time allocated to feeding have direct consequences for its fitness. Despite much research on population-level foraging decisions, few studies have investigated individual differences in fine-scale daily foraging patterns amongst wild animals. Here, we explore the consistency and plasticity of feeding tactics o...
Article
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Much of the evidence for the idea that individuals differ in their propensity to innovate and solve new problems has come from studies on captive primates. Increasingly, behavioural ecologists are studying innovativeness in wild populations, and uncovering links with functional behaviour and fitness related traits. The relative importance of geneti...
Article
Full-text available
Population-level studies of how tit species (Parus spp.) track the changing phenology of their caterpillar food source have provided a model system allowing inference into how populations can adjust to changing climates, but are often limited because they implicitly assume all individuals experience similar environments. Ecologists are increasingly...
Data
Figure S1. Wytham habitat compartments (n = 121). Figure S2. MODIS pixels (240 m × 240 m) that intersect with Wytham Woods (n = 117). Figure S3. Spatial variation in spring vegetation green‐up date (2001–2013), measured as the first inflection point in Enhanced Vegetation Index 2 (EVI2), derived from a time series of MODIS satellite images for ea...
Article
Full-text available
Associative learning is essential for resource acquisition, predator avoidance and reproduction in a wide diversity of species, and is therefore a key target for evolutionary and comparative cognition research. Automated operant devices can greatly enhance the study of associative learning and yet their use has been mainly restricted to laboratory...
Article
Inferences drawn from long-term field studies are vulnerable to biases in observability of different classes of individuals, which may lead to biases in the estimates of selection, or fitness. Population surveys that monitor breeding individuals can introduce such biases by not identifying individuals that fail early in their reproductive attempts....
Article
Full-text available
In seasonal environments, the timing of reproduction has important fitness consequences. Our current understanding of the determinants of reproductive phenology in natural systems is limited because studies often ignore the spatial scale on which animals interact with their environment. When animals use a restricted amount of space and the phenolog...
Article
Full-text available
Cognition is defined as the processes by which animals collect, retain and use information from their environment to guide their behaviour. Thus cognition is essential in a wide range of behaviours, including foraging, avoiding predators and mating. Despite this pivotal role, the evolutionary processes shaping variation in cognitive performance amo...
Article
Full-text available
Despite a growing body of evidence linking personality to life-history variation and fitness, the behavioural mechanisms underlying these relationships remain poorly understood. One mechanism thought to play a key role is how individuals respond to risk. Relatively reactive and proactive (or shy and bold) personality types are expected to differ in...
Article
Social environments have an important effect on a range of ecological processes, and form a crucial component of selection. However, little is known of the link between personality, social behaviour and population structure. We combine a well-understood personality trait with large-scale social networks in wild songbirds, and show that personality...
Article
Cognition has been studied intensively for several decades, but the evolutionary processes that shape individual variation in cognitive traits remain elusive [1-3]. For instance, the strength of selection on a cognitive trait has never been estimated in a natural population, and the possibility that positive links with life history variation [1-5]...
Article
Full-text available
Theory suggests that individual personality is tightly linked to individual life histories and to environmental variation. The reactive-proactive axis, for example, is thought to reflect whether individuals prioritize productivity or survival, mutually exclusive options that can be caused by conflicts between foraging and anti-predation behaviour....
Article
Full-text available
Ecological and evolutionary drivers of innovativeness among species are relatively well studied, but the significance of similar variation within species is much less well understood. Using automated foraging devices, we conducted the first large-scale study of novel problem-solving performance in a wild bird population to test whether variation in...
Article
Full-text available
Competitive ability is a major determinant of fitness, but why individuals vary so much in their competitiveness remains only partially understood. One increasingly prevalent view is that realized competitive ability varies because it represents alternative strategies that arise because of the costs associated with competitiveness. Here we use a po...
Article
Full-text available
The evolution and ecology of consistent behavioural variation, or personality, is currently the focus of much attention in natural populations. Associations between personality traits and parasite infections are increasingly being reported, but the extent to which multiple behavioural traits might be associated with parasitism at the same time is l...
Article
Full-text available
1. Dispersal is a key process in population biology and ecology. Although the general ecological conditions that lead to dispersal have been well studied, the causes of individual variation in dispersal are less well understood. A number of recent studies suggest that heritable temperament – or personality – traits are correlated with dispersal in...
Article
Behavioural traits generally and cognitive traits in particular are relatively understudied in an evolutionary ecological context. One reason for this is that such traits are often difficult to characterize among large numbers of individuals, without the influence of diverse environmental effects swamping intrinsic individual differences. We conduc...

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