Rose Thorogood

Rose Thorogood
University of Cambridge | Cam · Department of Zoology

PhD

About

69
Publications
8,449
Reads
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798
Citations
Additional affiliations
October 2013 - present
University of Cambridge
Position
  • Research Associate
Education
October 2006 - May 2010
University of Cambridge
Field of study
  • Behavioural Ecology
February 2002 - February 2004
University of Auckland
Field of study
  • Biology

Publications

Publications (69)
Article
Animals gather social information by observing the behavior of others, but how the intensity of observed cues influences decision-making is rarely investigated. This is crucial for understanding how social information influences ecological and evolutionary dynamics. For example, observing a predator’s distaste of unpalatable prey can reduce predati...
Article
Full-text available
Conservation translocation is a common method for species recovery, for which one increasingly frequent objective is restoring lost ecological functions to promote ecosystem recovery. However, few conservation translocation programs explicitly state or monitor function as an objective, limiting the ability to test assumptions, learn from past effor...
Preprint
Full-text available
Predators can learn to avoid toxic prey by observing strong distaste responses of others. We show that the intensity of responses varies among blue tits. Weaker distaste responses were found to be more common, but in contrast to strong responses, they did not elicit prey avoidance in observing birds. This demonstrates that predators pay attention t...
Article
Abundances of animals vary according to species‐specific habitat selection, but habitats are undergoing rapid change in response to anthropogenic alterations of land use and climate. The long‐term decline of snowfall is one of the most dramatic abiotic changes in boreal regions, with potential to alter species communities and shape future ecosystem...
Article
Full-text available
Social information use is well documented across the animal kingdom, but how it influences ecological and evolutionary processes is only just beginning to be investigated. Here we evaluate how social transmission may influence species interactions and potentially change or create novel selection pressures by focusing on predator–prey interactions,...
Article
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The reed warbler (Acrocephalus scirpaceus) is a long-distance migrant passerine with a wide distribution across Eurasia. This species has fascinated researchers for decades, especially its role as host of a brood parasite, and its capacity for rapid phenotypic change in the face of climate change. Currently, it is expanding its range northwards in...
Article
Full-text available
Collaboration and diversity are increasingly promoted in science. Yet how collaborations influence academic career progression, and whether this differs by gender, remains largely unknown. Here, we use co-authorship ego networks to quantify collaboration behaviour and career progression of a cohort of contributors to biennial International Society...
Article
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Hosts of brood parasitic cuckoos often employ mobbing attacks to defend their nests and, when mobbing is costly, hosts are predicted to adjust their mobbing to match parasitism risk. While evidence exists for fine-tuned plasticity, it remains unclear why mobbing does not track larger seasonal changes in parasitism risk. Here we test a possible expl...
Preprint
Full-text available
The reed warbler ( Acrocephalus scirpaceus ) is a long-distance migrant passerine with a wide distribution across Eurasia. This species has fascinated researchers for decades, especially its role as host of a brood parasite, and its capacity for rapid phenotypic change in the face of climate change. Currently, it is expanding its range northwards i...
Article
In host–parasite arms races, hosts can evolve signatures of identity to enhance the detection of parasite mimics. In theory, signatures are most effective when within-individual variation is low (‘consistency’), and between-individual variation is high (‘distinctiveness’). However, empirical support for positive covariation in signature consistency...
Article
Full-text available
Social transmission of information is taxonomically widespread and could have profound effects on the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of animal communities. Demonstrating this in the wild, however, has been challenging. Here we show by field experiment that social transmission among predators can shape how selection acts on prey defences. Usin...
Article
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Early independence from parents is a critical period where social information acquired vertically may become outdated, or conflict with new information. However, across natural populations, it is unclear if newly independent young persist in using information from parents, or if group-level effects of conformity override previous behaviours. Here,...
Preprint
Full-text available
Ecosystems are under unprecedented and accelerating pressures. Much work on understanding resilience to these pressures has, so far, focussed on the ecosystem. However, understanding a system’s behaviour also requires knowledge of its component parts and their interactions. Here we present a framework for understanding ‘biological resilience’, or t...
Article
Full-text available
Colours are commonly used as visual cues when measuring animals’ cognitive abilities. However, animals can have innate biases towards certain colours that depend on ecological and evolutionary contexts, therefore potentially influencing their performance in experiments. For example, when foraging, the colour red can advertise profitable fruits or a...
Article
Full-text available
Studies of intraspecific dietary variation can greatly enrich our view of a species’ niche and role in the ecosystem, particularly when species with broad diets are found to be composed of generalist and specialist individuals. However, the current framework for quantifying dietary specialization leaves certain standards unformalized and is suscept...
Article
Full-text available
Animal sociality arises from the cumulative effects of both individual social decisions and environmental factors. While juveniles' social interactions with parents prior to independence shape later life sociality, in most bird and mammal species at least one sex undergoes an early life dispersal before first-year reproduction. The social associati...
Article
Full-text available
Ever since Alfred R. Wallace suggested brightly coloured, toxic insects warn predators about their unprofitability, evolutionary biologists have searched for an explanation of how these aposematic prey evolve and are maintained in natural populations. Understanding how predators learn about this widespread prey defence is fundamental to addressing...
Preprint
Full-text available
Intense competition for limited opportunities means the career path of a scientist is a challenging one, and female scientists in particular are less likely to survive in academia. Collaboration is a key factor in scientific advances, and in social species enhanced sociality improves fitness and longevity. Yet whether sociality influences career pr...
Article
Full-text available
To make adaptive foraging decisions, predators need to gather information about the profitability of prey. As well as learning from prey encounters, recent studies show that predators can learn about prey defences by observing the negative foraging experiences of conspecifics. However, predator communities are complex. While observing heterospecifi...
Article
Full-text available
Many prey species contain defensive chemicals that are described as tasting bitter. Bitter taste perception is, therefore, assumed to be important when predators are learning about prey defenses. However, it is not known how individuals differ in their response to bitter taste, and how this influences their foraging decisions. We conducted taste pe...
Article
Full-text available
Culture (behaviour based on socially transmitted information) is present in diverse animal species, yet how it interacts with genetic evolution remains largely unexplored. Here, we review the evidence for gene–culture coevolution in animals, especially birds, cetaceans and primates. We describe how culture can relax or intensify selection under dif...
Article
Full-text available
Reintroductions, essential to many conservation programmes, disrupt both abiotic and social environments. Despite growing recognition that social connections in animals might alter survival (e.g. social transmission of foraging skills, or transmission of disease), there has thus far been little focus on the consequences of social disruption during...
Article
Full-text available
Video playback provides a promising method to study social interactions, and the number of video playback experiments has been growing in recent years. Using videos has advantages over live individuals as it increases the repeatability of demonstrations, and enables researchers to manipulate the features of the presented stimulus. How observers res...
Article
Full-text available
Many young birds die soon after fledging, as they lack the skills to find food and avoid predation. Post-fledging parental care is assumed to assist acquisition of these vital skills. However, we still lack empirical examples examining the length of time fledglings spend with parents, how they associate during this critical time, or whether such va...
Article
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1.Aposematism is an effective antipredator strategy. However, the initial evolution and maintenance of aposematism is paradoxical because conspicuous prey are vulnerable to attack by naïve predators. Consequently, the evolution of aposematic signal mimicry is also difficult to explain. 2.The cost of conspicuousness can be reduced if predators learn...
Article
Full-text available
Parasitic interactions are so ubiquitous that all multicellular organisms have evolved a system of defences to reduce their costs, whether the parasites they encounter are the classic parasites which feed on the individual, or brood parasites which usurp parental care. Many parallels have been drawn between defences deployed against both types of p...
Article
Full-text available
Obligate brood-parasitic cheats have fascinated natural historians since ancient times. Passing on the costs of parental care to others occurs widely in birds, insects and fish, and often exerts selection pressure on hosts that in turn evolve defences. Brood parasites have therefore provided an illuminating system for researching coevolution. Never...
Preprint
Full-text available
Living in groups comes with many potential benefits, especially for juveniles. Naive individuals may learn how to forage, or avoid predators through group vigilance. Understanding these benefits, however, requires an appreciation of the opportunities juveniles have to associate with (and learn from) others. Here we describe social groups in terms o...
Preprint
Full-text available
The first few months of juvenile independence is a critical period for survival as young must learn new behaviours to forage efficiently. Social learning by observing parents (vertical transmission) or others (horizontal/oblique transmission) may be important to overcome naivety, but these tutors are likely to differ in their reliability due to var...
Preprint
Full-text available
Reintroductions are essential to many conservation programmes, and thus much research has focussed on understanding what determines the success of these translocation interventions. However, while reintroductions disrupt both the abiotic and social environments, there has been less focus on the consequences of social disruption. Therefore, here we...
Article
Full-text available
Warning signals are an effective defence strategy for aposematic prey, but only if they are recognized by potential predators. If predators must eat prey to associate novel warning signals with unpalatability, how can aposematic prey ever evolve? Using experiments with great tits (Parus major) as predators, we show that social transmission enhances...
Article
Full-text available
Warning signals are an effective defence strategy for aposematic prey, but only if they are recognized by potential predators. If predators must eat prey to associate novel warning signals with unpalatability, how can aposematic prey ever evolve? Using experiments with great tits (Parus major) as predators, we show that social transmission enhances...
Article
Full-text available
Birds use cues when foraging to help relocate food resources, but natural environments provide many potential cues and choosing which to use may depend on previous experience. Young animals have less experience of their environment compared to adults, so may be slower to learn cues or may need to sample the environment more. Whether age influences...
Article
Full-text available
Many brood parasites rely on mimicry to prevent the detection of their eggs by hosts, yet most Australasian cuckoo species lay darkly colored eggs while the eggs of their hosts are pale and speckled. In the dimly lit nests of their hosts, these cuckoo eggs may appear cryptic; however, it is unclear if this disguise has evolved to fool hosts or othe...
Article
Full-text available
Video playback is becoming a common method for manipulating social stimuli in experiments. Parid tits are one of the most commonly studied groups of wild birds. However, it is not yet clear if tits respond to video playback or how their behavioural responses should be measured. Behaviours may also differ depending on what they observe demonstrators...
Data
Demonstrator encountering aversive prey The video shows a demonstrator encountering aversive prey (mealworm injected with bitter-tasting Bitrex).
Data
Results of the GLM models More comprehensive presentation of the results from all GLM models described in the results section.
Data
Observer?s response to video playback The video shows an observer?s response to different sections of video playback: (i) a control section (a cup in an empty cage) before a demonstrator (30 s), (ii) a demonstrator encountering aversive prey (45 s), and (iii) a control section (a cup in an empty cage) after a demonstrator (30 s).
Data
Demonstrator encountering palatable prey The video shows a demonstrator encountering palatable prey (mealworm).
Article
Full-text available
Video playback is becoming a common method for manipulating social stimuli in experiments. Parid tits are one of the most commonly studied groups of wild birds. However, it is not yet clear if tits respond to video playback or how their behavioural responses should be measured. Behaviours may also differ depending on what they observe demonstrators...
Article
Many brood parasites rely on mimicry to prevent the detection of their eggs by hosts, yet most Australasian cuckoo species lay darkly colored eggs while the eggs of their hosts are pale and speckled. In the dimly lit nests of their hosts, these cuckoo eggs may appear cryptic; however, it is unclear if this disguise has evolved to fool hosts or othe...
Article
If environmental or maternal factors favor the fitness of one sex over the other, theory predicts that mothers should produce more offspring of the sex most likely to benefit from prevailing conditions. For species where males depend on carotenoid-based colorful ornaments to secure territory or attract mates, carotenoid availability in the environm...
Article
Size hierarchies are often seen when nestlings hatch asynchronously over a period of days. Shorter hatch periods are common across passerines, however, and while these may also give rise to asymmetries, their effects are rarely considered. Regardless of hatch period, the long-term consequences for later hatched nestlings that survive to fledge is u...
Article
Full-text available
Individuals often vary defences in response to local predation or parasitism risk. But how should they assess threat levels when it pays their enemies to hide? For common cuckoo hosts, assessing parasitism risk is challenging: cuckoo eggs are mimetic and adult cuckoos are secretive and resemble hawks. Here, we show that egg rejection by reed warble...
Article
Full-text available
Dietary access to carotenoids is expected to determine the strength of carotenoid-based signal expression and potentially to maintain signal honesty. Species that display carotenoid-based yellow, orange, or red plumage are therefore expected to forage selectively for carotenoid-rich foods when they are depositing these pigments during molt, but whe...
Article
Full-text available
Interactions between avian hosts and brood parasites can provide a model for how animals adapt to a changing world. Reed warbler (Acrocephalus scirpaceus) hosts employ costly defenses to combat parasitism by common cuckoos (Cuculus canorus). During the past three decades cuckoos have declined markedly across England, reducing parasitism at our stud...
Data
S1: Data table for Figure 1 S2: Distribution of data for Figure 3 S3: Data table and references for Figures 3 & 4 Table S1. Changes in cuckoo and reed warbler populations (from cuckoo egg observations and standardized nest searching effort), parasitism rate (proportion of all nests found that contained cuckoo eggs), and expression of hosts’ first l...
Article
Full-text available
The resemblance of some parasitic cuckoos to Accipiter hawks has been known since an-cient times. Recent experiments show that the hawk-like features of Common Cuckoos (Cuculus canorus) facilitate access to Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus scirpaceus) host nests. However, social infor-mation alerts hosts to see through the cuckoo's mimetic disguise. In t...
Article
Full-text available
In 1995 and 1996, release of 51 hihi (stitchbird, Notiomystis cincta) onto Tiritiri Matangi Island (wild caught on Hauturu, Little Barrier Island) marked the start of a research and ecological restoration success story. Although establishment of populations of hihi elsewhere in New Zealand has proven to be difficult, the population on Tiritiri Mata...
Article
Full-text available
In predator-prey and host-parasite interactions, an individual’s ability to combat an opponent often improves with experience—for example, by learning to identify enemy signals. Although learning occurs through individual experience, individuals can also assess threats from social information. Such recognition could promote the evolution of polymor...
Article
Full-text available
How sensitive should parents be to the demands of their young? Offspring are under selection to seek more investment than is optimal for parents to supply, which makes parents vulnerable to losing future fitness by responding to manipulative displays. Yet, parents cannot afford to ignore begging and risk allocating resources inefficiently. Here, we...
Article
1. Male-biased adult sex ratios are frequently observed in free-ranging populations and are known to cause changes in mating behaviours including increased male harassment of females, which can cause injury to females and/or alter female behaviour during breeding. 2. Although we can explain why such behaviours may evolve and have studied their impa...
Article
Full-text available
Dietary ingested carotenoid biomolecules have been linked to both improved health and immunity in nestling birds. Here, we test whether maternally invested egg carotenoids can offset the cost of parasitism in developing nestling hihi (Notiomystis cincta) from the bloodsucking mite (Ornithonyssus bursa). Our results reveal clear negative effects of...
Article
Full-text available
Whilst the sexes of adult hihi (Notiomystis cincta) are easily distinguished by their dim orphic plumage, male and female nestling and juvenile hihi appear very similar. Hihi is a threatened bird species, and knowledge of the sex of young is important for conservation management and research. Although molecular sexing techniques exist, an immediate...
Article
Summary 1. Despite the proliferation of studies on the role of nestling mouth colour in parent-offspring communication, there has been very little work regarding the proximate mechanism for mouth pigmentation. 2. Carotenoids, a class of phytochemicals important for immune function and gained by birds only through their diet, also serve as pigments...
Article
Full-text available
Carotenoids are integument pigments that often reflect foraging efficiency, disease resistance and body condition. In contrast to the widespread attention this relationship has received in adult birds, the condition dependence of nestling colouration remains an understudied component of animal communication. Here we assess the condition dependence...
Article
The integrated antioxidant system is recognised as an essential component of an organisms self maintenance. Our knowledge of this system, however, is largely restricted to species of economic importance. The health and productivity benefits these dietary based compounds provide make them increasingly relevant for study in wildlife ecology. The aim...

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Projects (2)
Project
This project investigates how social information influence foraging strategies of birds and how and why different species and individuals use social information differently.