Sasha R X Dall

Sasha R X Dall
University of Exeter | UoE · Centre for Ecology and Conservation

PhD, University of Bristol, 1996

About

113
Publications
49,409
Reads
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7,351
Citations
Citations since 2016
38 Research Items
4114 Citations
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20162017201820192020202120220100200300400500600
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400500600
Introduction
The primary aim of my research is to explore how animals cope with the unexpected opportunities and dangers they face in their day-to-day lives. To this end, I study how animals collect and provide information to reduce uncertainty about significant events, or how they insure against it, along with evolutionary and ecological consequences of such risk management.
Additional affiliations
January 2005 - present
University of Exeter
Position
  • Lecturer/Senior Lecturer in Mathematical Ecology
January 2005 - present
University of Exeter
Position
  • Senior Lecturer in Mathematical Ecology
March 2000 - December 2004
University of Cambridge
Position
  • NERC PDRA
Education
October 1992 - April 1996
University of Bristol
Field of study
  • Zoology: Behavioural Ecology
October 1988 - June 1991
University of Bristol
Field of study
  • Zoology

Publications

Publications (113)
Article
Full-text available
Interactions in social groups can promote behavioural specialization. One way this can happen is when individuals engage in activities with two behavioural options and learn which option to choose. We analyse interactions in groups where individuals learn from playing games with two actions and negatively frequency-dependent payoffs, such as produc...
Article
Full-text available
Most analyses of the origins of cultural evolution focus on when and where social learning prevails over individual learning, overlooking the fact that there are other developmental inputs that influence phenotypic fit to the selective environment. This raises the question of how the presence of other cue ‘channels’ affects the scope for social lea...
Article
Full-text available
Cultural evolution theory has long been inspired by evolutionary biology. Conceptual analogies between biological and cultural evolution have led to the adoption of a range of formal theoretical approaches from population dynamics and genetics. However, this has resulted in a research programme with a strong focus on cultural transmission. Here, we...
Article
Full-text available
A key goal of conservation is to protect biodiversity by supporting the long-term persistence of viable, natural populations of wild species. Conservation practice has long been guided by genetic, ecological and demographic indicators of risk. Emerging evidence of animal culture across diverse taxa and its role as a driver of evolutionary diversifi...
Article
Full-text available
Most analyses of the origins of cultural evolution focus on when and where social learning prevails over individual learning, overlooking the fact that there are other developmental inputs that influence phenotypic fit to the selective environment. This raises the question how the presence of other cue 'channels' affects the scope for social learni...
Preprint
Full-text available
Cultural evolution theory has long been inspired by evolutionary biology. Conceptual analogies between biological and cultural evolution have led to the adoption of a range of formal theoretical approaches from population dynamics and genetics. However, this has resulted in a research programme with a strong focus on cultural transmission. Here, we...
Article
Full-text available
Individuals of many species utilise social information whilst making decisions. While many studies have examined social information in making large scale decisions, there is increasing interest in the use of fine scale social cues in groups. By examining the use of these cues and how they alter behaviour, we can gain insights into the adaptive valu...
Article
Full-text available
Winning or losing contests can impact subsequent competitive behaviour and the duration of these effects can be prolonged. While it is clear effects depend on social and developmental environments, the extent to which they are heritable, and hence evolvable, is less clear and remains untested. Furthermore, theory predicts that winner and loser effe...
Article
Full-text available
There is enduring debate over the question of which early-life effects are adaptive and which ones are not. Mathematical modelling shows that early-life effects can be adaptive in environments that have particular statistical properties, such as reliable cues to current conditions and high autocorrelation of environmental states. However, few empir...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding the rich social lives of animals benefits international conservation efforts
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter focuses on reasoning from the ultimate, evolutionary perspectives and not much more regarding proximate hypothesizing about behaviour. The main motivation is to highlight that using quantitative genetic approaches facilitates our ability to specify precise hypotheses about how behaviour is likely to evolve within populations over the s...
Article
Full-text available
Ambient noise can affect the availability of acoustic information to animals, altering both foraging and vigilance behaviour. Using captive zebra finches Taeniopygia guttata, we examined the effect of ambient broadband noise on foraging decisions. Birds were given a choice between foraging in a quiet area where conspecific calls could be heard or a...
Data
Patch hoice data. Individual’s initial choice of test chamber for each trial. (TXT)
Data
Model selection table for proportion of time spent in a treatments, in relation to treatment type, bird age and trial number. Full model and all models within Δ2 AICc of the top model are displayed. Most parsimonious model is highlighted in bold. (PDF)
Data
Spectrogram of a section of the noise used in experiments [64]. (TIFF)
Data
Model selection table for proportion of time spent foraging in treatments, in relation to treatment type, bird age and trial number. Full model and all models within Δ2 AICc of the top model are displayed. Most parsimonious model is highlighted in bold. (PDF)
Data
Time budget data. Time spent in different activities in different treatment types, for each trial. (TXT)
Data
Model selection table for probability of bird first entering a quiet chamber, in relation to bird age and trial number. Full model and all models within Δ2 AICc of the top model are displayed. Most parsimonious model is highlighted in bold. (PDF)
Data
Model selection table for proportion of time spent vigilant in treatments, in relation to treatment type, bird age and trial number. Full model and all models within Δ2 AICc of the top model are displayed. Most parsimonious model is highlighted in bold. (PDF)
Article
Full-text available
Genetic polymorphism can contribute to local adaptation in heterogeneous habitats, for instance, as a single locus with alleles adapted to different habitats. Phenotypic plasticity can also contribute to trait variation across habitats, through developmental responses to habitat-specific cues. We show that the genetic architecture of genetically po...
Article
Full-text available
There can be genetic conflict between genome elements differing in transmission patterns, and thus in evolutionary interests. We show here that the concept of genetic conflict provides new insight into local adaptation and phenotypic plasticity. Local adaptation to heterogeneous habitats sometimes occurs as tightly linked clusters of genes with amo...
Article
Full-text available
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Chapter
In behavioral ecology, the behavioral consequences of individuals (exploiters) using the investments of others (investors), rather than investing time or effort in procuring a resource themselves, has been traditionally studied using the producer–scrounger (PS) model—a simple evolutionary game theoretic model in which producers (investors) search f...
Chapter
This chapter reviews the consequences of exploitative strategies for individual behavior, social structure, and design of institutions. It outlines how natural selection should act to construct behavioral connections that maximize benefits and minimize costs of sociality for individuals. Individuals are predicted to show specific leaving or joining...
Article
Full-text available
Addressing the obesity epidemic depends on a holistic understanding of the reasons that people become and maintain excessive fat. Theories about the causes of obesity usually focus proximately or evoke evolutionary mismatches, with minimal clinical value. There is potential for substantial progress by adapting strategic body mass regulation models...
Article
Full-text available
It is well established that living in groups helps animals avoid predation and locate resources, but maintaining a group requires collective coordination, which can be difficult when individuals differ from one another. Personality variation (consistent behavioural differences within a population) is already known to be important in group interacti...
Article
Full-text available
There are many inputs during development that influence an organism's fit to current or upcom-ing environments. These include genetic effects, transgenerational epigenetic influences, environmental cues and developmental noise, which are rarely investigated in the same formal framework. We study an analytically tractable evolutionary model, in whic...
Article
Full-text available
There are many situations where relatives interact while at the same time there is genetic polymorphism in traits influencing survival and reproduction. Examples include cheater-cooperator polymorphism and polymorphic microbial pathogens. Environmental heterogeneity, favoring different traits in nearby habitats, with dispersal between them, is one...
Data
Details of model description, results and individual-based simulations. (PDF)
Article
Full-text available
The three orders which comprise the extant marine mammals exhibit a wide range of behaviors, varying social structures and differences in social information use. Human impacts on marine mammals and their environments are ubiquitous; from chemical and noise pollution, to marine debris, prey depletion and ocean acidification. As a result, no marine m...
Article
Full-text available
The cooperative breeding hypothesis (CBH) states that cooperative breeding, a social system in which group members help to rear offspring that are not their own, has important socio-cognitive consequences. Thornton & McAuliffe (2015; henceforth T&M) critiqued this idea on both conceptual and empirical grounds, arguing that there is no reason to pre...
Article
Full-text available
An important driver of the evolution of animal coloration is sexual selection operating on traits that are used to transmit information to rivals and potential mates, which has a major impact on fitness. Reflectance spectrometry has become a standard color-measuring tool, especially after the discovery of tetrachromacy in birds and their ability to...
Article
Full-text available
It is often assumed in experiments and models that social learning abilities - how often individuals copy others, plus who and how they copy - are species-typical. Yet there is accruing evidence for systematic individual variation in social learning within species. Here we review evidence for this individual variation, placing it within a continuum...
Article
Full-text available
The last decade has seen lots of studies on 'animal personality' (i.e. the study of consistent between-individual behavioural differences). As timely and promising as this field is, its development has come with a diversity of research questions. As an unfortunate consequence, it now suffers from substantial confusion about what 'animal personality...
Article
Full-text available
Developments in tracking technologies have enhanced our understanding of the behaviours of many seabird species. However few studies have examined the social aspects of seabird foraging behaviour, despite the effect this might have on the distribution of foraging areas and the differences that might arise between colonies. Here we use bird-borne GP...
Article
Full-text available
Habitat stability and predation pressure are thought to be major drivers in the evolutionary maintenance of behavioural syndromes, with trait covariance only occurring within specific habitats. However, animals also exhibit behavioural plasticity, often through memory formation. Memory formation across traits may be linked, with covariance in memor...
Article
Full-text available
The development of multicellular organisms involves a delicate interplay between genetic and environmental influences. It is often useful to think of developmental systems as integrating available sources of information about current conditions to produce organisms. Genes and inherited physiology provide cues, as does the state of the environment d...
Article
Full-text available
Despite the fact that many animals live in groups, there is still no clear consensus about the ecological or evolutionary mechanisms underlying colonial living. Recently, research has suggested that colonies may be important as sources of social information. The ready availability of information from conspecifics allows animals to make better decis...
Article
Full-text available
Life is a continuous stream of decisions: organisms are repeatedly confronted with multiple options from which to choose. To make the best decisions and maximise their fitness, individuals need to collect information: from direct interactions with the environment (personal information) or from observing other individuals interacting with the enviro...
Article
Full-text available
(1) Life-history trade-offs are considered a major driving force in the emergence of consistent behavioural differences (personality variation); but empirical tests are scarce. (2) We investigated links between a personality trait (escape response), life-history and state variables (growth rate, size and age at first reproduction, age-dependent rep...
Article
Full-text available
The study of animal personality variation promises to provide significant new insight into the way that behaviour evolves in animals, along with its ecological and evolutionary influences. We strongly advocate more empirical work in this exciting and rapidly expanding research area, but hope that new studies adopt a more hypothesis-driven and/or ex...
Article
Full-text available
Human societies, and their well-being, depend to a significant extent on the state of the ecosystems that surround them. These ecosystems are changing rapidly usually in response to anthropogenic changes in the environment. To determine the likely impact of environmental change on ecosystems and the best ways to manage them, it would be desirable t...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract Variation in how individuals invest in acquiring information (sampling) and in insuring themselves against potential negative consequences of uncertainty (e.g., by storing energy reserves) has been suggested to underlie consistent individual differences in suites of behavioral traits. However, the key drivers of individual differences in i...
Article
Full-text available
Although disease hosts are classically assumed to interact randomly, infection is likely to spread across structured and dynamic contact networks. We used social network analyses to investigate contact patterns of group-living European badgers, Meles meles, which are an important wildlife reservoir of bovine tuberculosis (TB). We found that TB test...
Article
Full-text available
Human societies, and their well-being, depend to a significant extent on the state of the ecosystems that surround them. These ecosystems are changing rapidly usually in response to anthropogenic changes in the environment. To determine the likely impact of environmental change on ecosystems and the best ways to manage them, it would be desirable t...
Chapter
Full-text available
In many species of animals individual behaviour differs, yet is consistent over time and in an array of different environments; in other words, these animals display 'personality' variation. This may emerge not by chance, but, instead, is shaped by selective processes favouring individuals who display a differentiated behavioural phenotype. Indeed,...
Article
Full-text available
Consistent behavioural differences among individuals are common in many species and can have important effects on offspring fitness. To understand such 'personality' variation, it is important to determine the mode of inheritance, but this has been quantified for only a few species. Here, we report results from a breeding experiment in captive zebr...
Article
Full-text available
Condition-dependence of male ornaments is thought to provide honest signals on which females can base their sexual choice for genetic quality. Recent studies yet show that condition-dependence patterns can vary within populations. Although long-term association is thought to promote honest signalling, no study has explored the influence of pairing...
Article
Full-text available
Heterogeneities in behaviours of individuals may underpin important processes in evolutionary biology and ecology, including the spread of disease. Modelling approaches can sometimes fail to predict disease spread, which may partly be due to the number of unknown sources of variation in host behaviour. The European badger is a wildlife reservoir fo...
Article
Full-text available
Individuals often differ in what they do. This has been recognised since antiquity. Nevertheless, the ecological and evolutionary significance of such variation is attracting widespread interest, which is burgeoning to an extent that is fragmenting the literature. As a first attempt at synthesis, we focus on individual differences in behaviour with...
Article
Full-text available
Knowledge of the way in which animals interact through social networks can help to address questions surrounding the ecological and evolutionary consequences of social organisation, and to understand and manage the spread of infectious diseases. Automated proximity loggers are increasingly being used to record interactions between animals, but the...
Data
A guide to the use of the two Functions for which the R code is provided. (DOC)
Data
R Code for the two Functions that can be used to filter and construct association matrices from data collected by proximity loggers. (R)
Article
Full-text available
Animals often use social information about conspecifics in making decisions about cooperation and conflict. While the importance of kin selection in the evolution of intraspecific cooperation and conflict is widely acknowledged, few studies have examined how relatedness influences the evolution of social information use. Here we specifically examin...
Data
Provides additional details of the solutions to the models and of the results. (PDF)
Article
Full-text available
A major challenge in behavioural and evolutionary ecology is to understand the evolution and maintenance of consistent behavioural differences among individuals within populations, often referred to as animal ‘personalities’. Here, we present evidence suggesting that sexual selection may act on such personality differences in zebra finches (Taeniop...
Article
Full-text available
Individuals are often consistent in their behavior but vary from each other in the level of behavior shown. Despite burgeoning interest in such animal personality variation, studies on invertebrates are scarce, and studies on clonal invertebrates nonexistent. This is surprising given the obvious advantages of using invertebrates/clones to tackle th...
Article
Full-text available
Although behavioural plasticity should be an advantage in a varying world, there is increasing evidence for widespread stable individual differences in the behaviour of animals: that is, [`]personality'. Here we provide evidence suggesting that sexual selection is an important factor in the evolution of personality in species with biparental care....
Article
Full-text available
Ecology Letters (2011) 14: 237–243 Ostensibly, it makes sense in a changeable world to condition behaviour and development on information when it is available. Nevertheless, unconditional behavioural and life history strategies are widespread. Here, we show how intergenerational effects can limit the evolutionary value of responding to reliable env...
Article
Full-text available
Arising from M. A. Nowak, C. E. Tarnita & E. O. Wilson 466, 1057-1062 (2010); Nowak et al. reply. Nowak et al. argue that inclusive fitness theory has been of little value in explaining the natural world, and that it has led to negligible progress in explaining the evolution of eusociality. However, we believe that their arguments are based upon a...