My research group (SHOALgroup) uses a question-oriented approach to address a range of issues in animal behaviour and ecology, and we have strong applied themes.

An over-arching aim of our research is to understand how costs and benefits shape individual behaviour, and how these behaviours relate to the structure and functioning of groups and populations. To achieve this, we conduct research on a variety of group-living animals (including humans) in the wild and in the lab, and use novel technologies and analytical tools to access information about interactions at many spatio-temporal scales. You can learn more about our research, public engagement and media work at our website.

For details of my teaching, administrative and external responsibilties, click on the various sub-headings below.

Areas of Expertise

  • Animal behaviour
  • Behavioural ecology
  • Collective behaviour
  • Socioecology

Publications

  1. O'Bryan, L., Abaid, N., Nakayama, S., Dey, T., King, A., Cowlishaw, G., Rubenstein, D., Garnier, S. Contact Calls Facilitate Group Contraction in Free-Ranging Goats (Capra aegagrus hircus) Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 7
  2. Ramos-Fernandez, G., King, A., Beehner, J., Bergman, T., Crofoot, M., Di Fiore, A., Lehmann, J., Schaffner, C., Snyder-Mackler, N., Zuberbühler, K., Aureli, F., Boyer, D. Quantifying uncertainty due to fission–fusion dynamics as a component of social complexity Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 285 1879 20180532
  3. Strömbom, D., King, A. Robot Collection and Transport of Objects: A Biomimetic Process Frontiers in Robotics and AI 5
  4. Lush, L., Wilson, R., Holton, M., Hopkins, P., Marsden, K., Chadwick, D., King, A. Classification of sheep urination events using accelerometers to aid improved measurements of livestock contributions to nitrous oxide emissions Computers and Electronics in Agriculture 150 170 177
  5. King, A., Fehlmann, G., Biro, D., Ward, A., Fürtbauer, I., Fuertbauer, I. Re-wilding Collective Behaviour: An Ecological Perspective Trends in Ecology & Evolution 33 5 347 357

See more...

Teaching

  • BIO108 Molecular and Evolutionary Biology

    ¿Nothing in Biology makes sense except in the light of evolution¿ was the title of a 1973 essay by the evolutionary biologist Theodosius Dobzhansky. The module links fundamental understanding of molecular processes in the cell to principles of genetics and inheritance to a broader appreciation of evolution and how it shapes the natural world around us.

  • BIO355 Animal behaviour - from individuals to groups

    The module will showcase the latest developments in the field of animal behaviour, first describing how and why individuals within the same species or populations often behave in consistently different ways (i.e. show personality). Second, we will explain how individual variation in behaviour can shape patterns of behaviour shown by groups of animals (i.e. collective behaviour). Throughout the module, we will use recent research as examples ¿ on insects, fish, birds and mammals (including humans) ¿ to enable students to understand key concepts and then directly apply this knowledge during research-led practical sessions involving sweets, insects, and crustaceans. The module adopts an inclusive and integrated teaching style and will suit students who enjoy interactive teaching (e.g. discussion, group activities). The module is 20% Coursework (reports based on practical work) and 80% Exam (essay-based questions).

  • BIOM64 MRes Research Project (Biosciences)

    Students conduct independent research in Biosciences under the guidance of academic staff in one or more of our Research Themes: - MARINE AND FRESHWATER SYSTEMS - BEHAVIOURAL ECOLOGY AND EVOLUTION - BIODIVERSITY AND ECOSYSTEMS - NATURAL PRODUCTS AND ENVIRONMENTAL RESOURCES Students produce a written dissertation (thesis) based on their research. The thesis will be written in a scientific style suitable for publication in an appropriate journal.

Supervision

  • Untitled (current)

    Student name:
    MRes
  • Untitled (current)

    Student name:
    MRes
  • Untitled (current)

    Student name:
    MRes
  • Untitled (current)

    Student name:
    MRes
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    Student name:
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  • Personality of dogs and their owners and links to physiological stress levels (current)

    Student name:
    MRes
    Other supervisor: Dr Ines Fuertbauer
  • Untitled (current)

    Student name:
    MRes
  • Intra and inter-specific cortisol coregulation (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Ines Fuertbauer
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    Student name:
    MRes
  • Endocrine and behavioural plasticity in vertebrates (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Ines Fuertbauer
  • Primate socioendocrinology revisited: new tools to tackle old questions (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Ines Fuertbauer
  • The behavioural and physiological flexibility of wild baboons in response to environmental change (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Ines Fuertbauer
  • Tracking and analysis of movement at different scales: from endosomes to humans (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Ines Fuertbauer
    Other supervisor: Dr Rowan Brown
  • Macroalgal functional diversity and its impact on coastal ecosystem functions and services (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr John Griffin
  • Intra-individual variation in sheep wool cortisol. (awarded 2019)

    Student name:
    MRes
    Other supervisor: Dr Ines Fuertbauer
  • Collective behaviour: from cells to humans (awarded 2019)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Ines Fuertbauer
    Other supervisor: Dr Rowan Brown
  • 'Individual consistency and temporal dynamics in sheep (Ovis aries) movement and social networks' (awarded 2018)

    Student name:
    MRes
    Other supervisor: Dr Ines Fuertbauer
  • 'Rules of interaction, not votes, govern group navigational decision making in a terrestrial ungulate (Capra aegagrus hircus).' (awarded 2017)

    Student name:
    MRes
    Other supervisor: Dr Ines Fuertbauer
  • 'Understanding baboon behavioural ecology in a human altered landscape' (awarded 2017)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Emily Shepard
  • Fisheries ecology and management of the large head ribbonfish Trichiurus lepturus in the Arabian Sea (awarded 2017)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Prof Carlos Garcia De Leaniz
  • 'Soaring behaviour in A Social Scavenger: Insights from Bio-logging' (awarded 2017)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Emily Shepard

External Responsibilities

Administrative Responsibilities

  • Non-professorial representative of Senate

    2018 - Present

  • Co-Founder/Co-Director - University of Cape Town & Swansea University PhD Programme

    2017 - Present

  • Deputy Chair, Programme Approval Board

    2017 - 2019

  • MRes Biosciences Programme Director - Biosciences

    2014 - Present

  • Acting Director of PGR - College of Science

    2015 - 2016

  • PGR Chair/Coordinator - College of Science

    2014 - 2015

  • Ethics Committee (Member) - College of Science

    2014 - 2016

  • PGR Chair/Coordinator - Biosciences

    2013 - 2017

  • Academic Board for Postgraduate Research (Member)

    2013 - 2015

  • Ethics Committee (Member) - Biosciences

    2013 - 2016

  • Research Committee (Member) - College of Science

    2013 - 2016

  • PGR Degrees Admissions Tutor - Biosciences

    2012 - 2015