Richard A Holland

Richard A Holland
Bangor University · School of Natural Sciences

About

71
Publications
21,613
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
2,250
Citations
Citations since 2016
26 Research Items
1294 Citations
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200
Additional affiliations
January 2011 - February 2016
Queen's University Belfast
Position
  • Lecturer
Education
October 1994 - November 1998
University of Oxford
Field of study
  • Zoology

Publications

Publications (71)
Article
There is a documented shortage of reliable counting systems for the entrance of beehives. Movement at the entrance of a hive is a measure of hive health and abnormalities, in addition to an indicator of predators. To that end, two camera systems have been designed to provide a comparative analysis for a thermal camera system. The first, a visible s...
Article
Full-text available
For studies on magnetic compass orientation and navigation performance in small bird species, controlled experiments with orientation cages inside an electromagnetic coil system are the most prominent methodological paradigm. These are, however, not applicable when studying larger bird species and/or orientation behaviour during free flight. For th...
Article
Recent research into the navigational strategies of homing pigeons, Columba livia, in the familiar area has highlighted the phenomenon of route fidelity: birds forming idiosyncratic flight paths to which they are loyal over multiple releases from the same site, and even returning to this path when released from a nearby unfamiliar location. Such re...
Article
Full-text available
The exact anatomical location for an iron particle-based magnetic sense remains enigmatic in vertebrates. For mammals, findings from a cornea anaesthesia experiment in mole rats suggest that it carries the primary sensors for magnetoreception. Yet, this has never been tested in a free-ranging mammal. Here, we investigated whether intact corneal sen...
Article
Displacement experiments have demonstrated that experienced migratory birds translocated thousands of kilometers away from their migratory corridor to unfamiliar areas can orient towards and ultimately reach their intended destinations. This implies that they are capable of “true navigation”, commonly defined as the ability to return to a known goa...
Chapter
Full-text available
At the 1971 meeting North American Society for Bat Research (NASBR) in Albuquerque, Don Wilson and James S. Findley presented “Randomness in Bat Homing.” The central tenet of their paper was that homing ability in bats could be explained by chance alone or by some sort of random search [Wilson and Findley (Am Nat 106:418–424, 1972)]. In this retros...
Article
Full-text available
Functional lateralisation in the avian visual system can be easily studied by testing monocularly occluded birds. The sun compass is a critical source of navigational information in birds, but studies of visual asymmetry have focussed on cues in a laboratory rather than a natural setting. We investigate functional lateralisation of sun compass use...
Article
Full-text available
A number of studies have shown that migrating birds can navigate to their destinations even when displaced to unfamiliar territory. It has been demonstrated that adult Eurasian Reed Warblers (Acrocephalus scirpaceus) captured in spring in the Eastern Baltic, displaced 1000 km eastward to the Moscow region and tested in orientation cages, show a cle...
Article
From bats to whales, millions of mammals migrate every year. However, their navigation capacity for accomplishing long-distance movements remains remarkably understudied and lags behind by five decades compared to other animals [1, 2]—partly because, unlike for other taxa, such as birds and sea turtles, no small-scale orientation assay has so far b...
Article
Migration routes of bats remain largely unknown, as previous orientation studies have been challenging even with newly developed techniques in tracking, genetic and stable isotope studies. However, a lack of knowledge about migrations poses problems for species conservation, especially in newly described species for which ecological information is...
Article
Full-text available
In humans and other vertebrates, sensory information is sometimes lateralised towards one brain hemisphere that dominates the control of a task. Although sensory lateralisation may depend on the stimuli being processed, the degree or direction of lateralisation can differ according to behavioural phenotype. Accordingly, personality may play an impo...
Article
Full-text available
We tested zebrafish shoals to examine whether groups exhibit collective spatial learning and whether this relates to the personality of group members. To do this we trained shoals to associate a collective spatial decision to a reward and tested whether shoals could reorient to the learned location from a new starting point. There were strong indic...
Article
Full-text available
Acting collectively in a group provides risk-reducing benefits. Yet individuals differ in how they take risks, with some being more willing than others to approach dangerous or unfamiliar settings. Therefore, individuals may need to adjust their behaviour when in groups, either as a result of perceiving greater safety or to coordinate collective re...
Article
The longitude problem (determining east-west position) is a classical problem in human sea navigation. Prior to the use of GPS satellites, extraordinarily accurate clocks measuring the difference between local time and a fixed reference (e.g., GMT) [1] were needed to determine longitude. Birds do not appear to possess a time-difference clock sense...
Article
Full-text available
Background Flexible spatial memory, such as “place” learning, is an important adaptation to assist successful foraging and to avoid predation and is thought to be more adaptive than response learning which requires a consistent start point. Place learning has been found in many taxonomic groups, including a number of species of fish. Surprisingly,...
Article
Full-text available
Recent research has explored links between cognition and personality, with prominent hypotheses proposing that personality drives consistent individual differences in cognitive function. These hypotheses particularly expect bolder individuals to be faster, but less accurate, as a trade-off in cognitive function. However, cognitive processes are typ...
Article
Full-text available
In contrast to many other gull species, nominate lesser black-backed gulls (Larus fuscus fuscus, nLBBG) have shown generally decreasing population trends throughout their breeding area in northern and eastern Fennoscandia over the past decades and are now red-listed. Interspecific competition, predation, increased disturbance, organochlorine poison...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Seasonal migration is a successful example of adaptations of bats to guarantee survival in harsh winters, gene flow over large spatial scales; and effective resource exploitation. Despite millions of bats travel up to thousands of kilometres each year, the mechanisms involved in orientation and navigation over distances beyond their home range are...
Article
Full-text available
Being faced with unknown environments is a concomitant challenge of species’ range expansions. Strategies to cope with this challenge include the adaptation to local conditions and a flexibility in resource exploitation. The gulls of the Larus argentatus-fuscus-cachinnans group form a system in which ecological flexibility might have enabled them t...
Data
Appendix - Here we provide two additional figures showing both the tracking data that was used for modelling habitat use with Maxent and the respective spatial predictions.
Article
Full-text available
Background: The expression of animal personality is indicated by patterns of consistency in individual behaviour. Often, the differences exhibited between individuals are consistent across situations. However, between some situations, this can be biased by variable levels of individual plasticity. The interaction between individual plasticity and...
Article
Full-text available
Place learning is thought to be an adaptive and flexible facet of navigation. Due to the flexibility of this learning, it is thought to be more complex than the simpler strategies such as learning a particular route or navigating through the use of cues. Place learning is crucial in a familiar environment as it allows an individual to successfully...
Article
Full-text available
During migratory journeys, birds may become displaced from their normal migratory route. Experimental evidence has shown that adult birds can correct for such displacements and return to their goal. However, the nature of the cues used by migratory birds to perform long distance navigation is still debated. In this experiment we subjected adult les...
Article
Full-text available
In a recent study, Greif et al. (Greif et al. Nat Commun 5, 4488. (doi:10.1038/ncomms5488)) demonstrated a functional role of polarized light for a bat species confronted with a homing task. These non-migratory bats appeared to calibrate their magnetic compass by using polarized skylight at dusk, yet it is unknown if migratory bats also use these c...
Article
Full-text available
Animals can call on a multitude of sensory information to orient and navigate. One such cue is the pattern of polarized light in the sky, which for example can be used by birds as a geographical reference to calibrate other cues in the compass mechanism. Here we demonstrate that the female greater mouse-eared bat (Myotis myotis) uses polarization c...
Article
Birds are capable of true navigation, the ability to return to a known goal from a place they have never visited before. This is demonstrated most spectacularly during the vast migratory journeys made by these animals year after year, often between continents and occasionally global in nature. However, it remains one of the great unanswered questio...
Article
Full-text available
The ontogeny of continent-wide navigation mechanisms of the individual organism, despite being crucial for the understanding of animal movement and migration, is still poorly understood. Several previous studies, mainly conducted on passerines, indicate that inexperienced, juvenile birds may not generally correct for displacement during fall migrat...
Article
The cues by which homing pigeons are able to return to a home loft after displacement to unfamiliar release sites remain debated. A number of experiments in which migratory birds have been treated with a magnetic pulse have produced a disruption in their orientation, which argues that a ferrimagnetic sense is used for navigation in birds. One previ...
Article
Full-text available
The mechanisms by which migratory birds achieve their often spectacular navigational performance are still largely unclear, but perception of cues from the Earth's magnetic field is thought to play a role. Birds that possess migratory experience can use map-based navigation, which may involve a receptor that uses ferrimagnetic material for detectin...
Article
Migratory birds are frequently found far outside their normal range but the phenomenon is poorly understood. We used radio telemetry to track individual migratory flights of several species of songbirds on the Faroe Islands, far west of their normal migration route. Birds with expected easterly and south-easterly migration direction departed westwa...
Article
Full-text available
Seed dispersal by birds is thought to profoundly impact patterns of ecological and genetic diversity in many plant species. As such, a more refined understanding of avian seed dispersal dynamics in the Neotropics is a subject of intense interest for ecologists, evolutionary biologists, and conservation biologists. We provide an overview of emerging...
Article
Full-text available
The decision on when to emerge from the safety of a roost and forage for prey is thought to be a result of the trade off between peak insect abundance and predation pressure for bats. In this study we show that the velvety free-tailed bat Molossus molossus emerges just after sunset and just before sunrise for very short foraging bouts (average 82.2...
Article
Full-text available
Birds have remained the dominant model for studying the mechanisms of animal navigation for decades, with much of what has been discovered coming from laboratory studies or model systems. The miniaturisation of tracking technology in recent years now promises opportunities for studying navigation during migration itself (migratory navigation) on an...
Data
The displacement of juvenile birds to the Faroe Islands. Map of Europe and West Africa showing the location of the Faroe Islands (red star) and the main migration through Northwest Europe to West Africa (grey arrow). The migration route and breeding and wintering grounds are similar for the three species studied. The 1100 km displacement from Denma...
Data
Details of the experiments. (DOC)
Data
Differences between orientation in the Faroe Islands and Denmark. Differences between the Emlen funnel orientation in Denmark and (a) the Emlen funnel orientation in the Faroes or (b) vanishing bearing on the Faroe Islands. The circular diagrams show differences at the individual level marked on the inside of the periphery. Mean differences are mar...
Article
Full-text available
To what degree juvenile migrant birds are able to correct for orientation errors or wind drift is still largely unknown. We studied the orientation of passerines on the Faroe Islands far off the normal migration routes of European migrants. The ability to compensate for displacement was tested in naturally occurring vagrants presumably displaced by...
Article
Full-text available
For many years, orientation in migratory birds has primarily been studied in the laboratory. Although a laboratory-based setting enables greater control over environmental cues, the laboratory-based findings must be confirmed in the wild in free-flying birds to be able to fully understand how birds orient during migration. Despite the difficulties...
Data
Slow motion footage of a radio-tagged bee (Bee ID 7) flying away in its release. Note that the animal initially drops altitude in initial take-off, but recovers to fly quickly and successfully through the complex forest. Please download and un-zip to view in Quicktime (.mp4 format). (9.34 MB ZIP)
Article
Full-text available
Neotropical orchid bees (Euglossini) are often cited as classic examples of trapline-foragers with potentially extensive foraging ranges. If long-distance movements are habitual, rare plants in widely scattered locations may benefit from euglossine pollination services. Here we report the first successful use of micro radio telemetry to track the m...
Article
Full-text available
In migratory passerine birds, strong magnetic pulses are thought to be diagnostic of the remagnetization of iron minerals in a putative sensory system contained in the beak. Previous evidence suggests that while such a magnetic pulse affects the orientation of migratory birds in orientation cages, no effect was present when pulse-treated birds were...
Article
Full-text available
Recent evidence suggests that bats can detect the geomagnetic field, but the way in which this is used by them for navigation to a home roost remains unresolved. The geomagnetic field may be used by animals both to indicate direction and to locate position. In birds, directional information appears to be derived from an interaction of the magnetic...
Article
Full-text available
Steatornis caripensis (the oilbird) is a very unusual bird. It supposedly never sees daylight, roosting in huge aggregations in caves during the day and bringing back fruit to the cave at night. As a consequence a large number of the seeds from the fruit they feed upon germinate in the cave and spoil. Here we use newly developed GPS/acceleration lo...
Article
Full-text available
Migrating bats are among the most poorly understood of migratory taxa, with relatively little information available on their behavior and ecology during migration compared to other taxa. This arises because of the “small animal problem,” namely the limitations of current technology to track individual animals that weigh <190 g. In this paper (which...
Article
Full-text available
The identification of the sensory cues and mechanisms by which migratory birds are able to reach the same breeding and wintering grounds year after year has eluded biologists despite more than 50 years of intensive study. While a number of environmental cues have been proposed to play a role in the navigation of birds, arguments still persist about...
Article
Nowadays few people consider finding their way in unfamiliar areas a problem as a GPS (Global Positioning System) combined with some simple map software can easily tell you how to get from A to B. Although this opportunity has only become available during the last decade, recent experiments show that long-distance migrating animals had already solv...
Data
Classification of character states for Vespertilionidae. We classified vespertilionid bats as either non-migratory (0), short distance migrant (1), and long distance migrant (2) according to the distinctions described in Fleming and Eby (8). Each species were further classified according to tropical (0) or temperate (1) species and roosting ecology...
Article
Full-text available
How migration evolved represents one of the most poignant questions in evolutionary biology. While studies on the evolution of migration in birds are well represented in the literature, migration in bats has received relatively little attention. Yet, more than 30 species of bats are known to migrate annually from breeding to non-breeding locations....
Article
Full-text available
The fruit bat Rousettus aegyptiacus has highly mobile pinnae. Little is known about the role that such movements play in sound localisation however and whether they interact with the process of echolocation in this species. Here we report the correspondence of echolocation signals in free flight with the downward wingbeat and forward movement of th...
Article
Clock-shifted homing pigeons (Rock Dove Columba livia) were tracked from familiar release sites using a direction recorder. At relatively short distances from the home loft (< 3.2 km), it was discovered that two different mechanisms for homing were present. One involved the sun compass and the other was independent of this. At a further site (9.95...
Article
Full-text available
While the role of magnetic cues for compass orientation has been confirmed in numerous animals, the mechanism of detection is still debated. Two hypotheses have been proposed, one based on a light dependent mechanism, apparently used by birds and another based on a "compass organelle" containing the iron oxide particles magnetite (Fe(3)O(4)). Bats...
Article
Full-text available
Billions of songbirds migrate several thousand kilometers from breeding to wintering grounds and are challenged with crossing ecological barriers and facing displacement by winds along the route. A satisfactory explanation of long-distance animal navigation is still lacking, partly because of limitations on field-based study. The navigational tasks...
Article
Full-text available
Every year in the spring and autumn billions of migrating animals travel thousands of miles between continents. The arctic tern (Sterna paradisaea) makes a round trip of 35,000km, effectively circumnavigating the globe, to travel between its wintering and breeding areas. But how much do we know about animal migration?
Article
Much is known about the way bats adjust their echolocation behaviour in response to environmental structure or to locate insect prey. By contrast, little is known about how echolocation calls are modulated in response to familiarity of the environment and objects within it. Here we show that the echolocating Megachiropteran bat Rousettus aegyptiacu...
Article
Full-text available
Bats have been extensively studied with regard to their ability to orient, navigate and hunt prey by means of echolocation, but almost nothing is known about how they orient and navigate in situations such as migration and homing outside the range of their echolocation system. As volant animals, bats face many of the same problems and challenges as...
Article
Full-text available
Bats famously orientate at night by echolocation, but this works over only a short range, and little is known about how they navigate over longer distances. Here we show that the homing behaviour of Eptesicus fuscus, known as the big brown bat, can be altered by artificially shifting the Earth's magnetic field, indicating that these bats rely on a...
Article
Full-text available
Countless numbers of insects migrate within and between continents every year, and yet we know very little about the ultimate reasons and proximate mechanisms that would explain these mass movements. Here we suggest that perhaps the most important reason for insects to migrate is to hedge their reproductive bets. By spreading their breeding efforts...
Article
The megachiropteran fruit bat Rousettus aegyptiacus is able to orient and navigate using both vision and echolocation. These two sensory systems have different environmental constraints however, echolocation being relatively short range when compared with vision. Despite this difference, an experiment testing their memory of a perch location demons...
Article
Full-text available
Rousettus aegyptiacus Geoffroy 1810 is a member of the only genus of Megachiropteran bats to use vocal echolocation, but the structure of its brief, click-like signal is poorly described. Although thought to have a simple echolocation system compared to that of Microchiroptera, R. aegyptiacus is capable of good obstacle avoidance using its impulse...