How do animals successfully invade urban environments? My new open-access preprint with Dominik Deffner maps a full pathway from behaviour, to mechanisms, through to selection and adaptation, showing risk-sensitive learning is a viable strategy to help explain how male great-tailed grackles—the dispersing sex—currently lead their species' remarkable North American urban invasion.
Thrilled to begin a new postdoc in the Department of Linguistic and Cultural Evolution at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. I'll be co-leading the Crow Cognition Group (CrowCoG), examining tool-related and general foraging behaviour in New Caledonian crows.
New Research paper!
New research paper linking nest-material physical properties (string rigidity) to birds' nest-building (pieces used) and breeding performance (chicks fledged): stiff-string (vs. flexible-string) builders need to 'work' less to fledge more chicks. Free download: https://bit.ly/2ZHsxmD
Another new opinion piece!
My new opinion piece argues that animal culture research should include avian nest construction - read the full paper, here.
New Opinion Piece!
Our new open-access opinion piece highlights the value of using a comparative approach to assess potential developmental drivers of skilled behaviour - paper available for download, here.
Another new paper!
Another first-author paper from my PhD is out today in Behavioral Ecology, which illuminates early-life drivers of technological behaviour - check out the graphical abstract below!
New paper out in Animal Cognition from my PhD examining whether observation of a nest - a social artefact - affects first-time nest construction in zebra finches. Summary below!
Officially Dr. Breen!
Ecstatic to have successfully passed my viva with only typo corrections! Thoroughly enjoyed discussing the last three years of hard but rewarding research with my viva committee: Dr. Amanda Seed and Dr. Jackie Chappell. A big thanks to my supervisors Dr. Lauren Guillette and Prof. Sue Healy for their support (and for the yummy bubbles)!
keynote at ESLR 2018 Workshop
Thoroughly enjoyed attending and giving a keynote talk Social influences and consequences in animal construction at the Early-career Social Learning Researchers Summer Workshop in St Andrews. Great discussions were had on a range of different topics (e.g., key influences and new methodologies). Looking forward to ESLR 2019 Workshop!
invited keynote talk
Thrilled to have been invited to give a keynote talk at the annual Association for Young Social Learning Researchers (soon to be Association for Early-career Social Learning Researchers - good call!) in June 2018.