News & Events

Here you can find some recent news and events, as well as a selection of recent papers and any new members that have joined the EGI.

Recent Video

Bird Ringing Demonstration at Farmoor Res Oxon, 25th February 2012

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Most Recent Research Highlights

» The socio-ecology of fear: How predators shape the social relationships of great titsSeptember 19, 2016

Voelk.Picture1forEGI HighlightA new paper published in Scientific Reports by Bernhard Voelkl, Josh Firth & Ben Sheldon investigated how perceived predator pressure influences group composition and social relationships in flocks of British tits. In this experimental study the authors used model sparrowhawks to launch attacks on flocks of wild great tits and blue tits whilst monitoring their social dynamics. Non-lethal attacks caused instantaneous turn-over and mixing of group composition within foraging flocks. A single experimental ‘attack’ lasting on average less than three seconds, caused the amount of turn-over expected over three hours (2.0—3.8 hours) of undisturbed foraging, suggesting that nonlethal predator effects can greatly alter group composition within populations. This has implications for the birds’ social behaviour by increasing the number of potential interaction partners, as well as longer-term consequences for pair formation and emergent effects determined by social structure. This study provides the first evidence based on in depth monitoring of a social network that predators influence the social structure of groups, and it offers new perspectives on the key drivers of social behaviour in wild populations. Link to paper here.

Most Recent News Story

» Two short-term field assistant positions are availableJanuary 20, 2017

Two short-term field assistant positions are available to work collecting data on the breeding biology of blue tits and great tits, based at the Edward Grey Institute, Dept of Zoology, University of Oxford.

The posts are available for two months full time, from approximately Monday 3rd April to Friday 2nd June 2017. The main duties of the post-holders will be to carry out fieldwork at Wytham Woods, near Oxford, and to assist in the collation and input of data. Further details about the project see www.WythamTits.com. This is casual work and the hours are variable, but will include some weeks of very intensive fieldwork (the exact dates of the period of intensive work cannot be specified as it depends on the timing of the spring each year).

Successful candidates must have (or be qualified to obtain) a BTO permit to ring adult and nestling tits, be able to demonstrate skill and enthusiasm for biological research as well as experience of fieldwork under arduous conditions, and of working as part of a multi-disciplinary team. Informal inquiries about the positions should be emailed to Dr Ella Cole (eleanor.cole@zoo.ox.ac.uk).

The posts are based in a dynamic and expanding research-active institute, of c. 50 people, fully integrated within the Department of Zoology. Further details about the institute available at: http://www.zoo.ox.ac.uk/egi/.

Salary: Grade 5.1 £24,565 per annum (pro rata). Start date: around April 3rd 2017.

To apply: please email a CV, together with a covering letter explaining your interest and skills plus the email addresses of two referees to Ms Lynne Bradley, PA to Professor Ben Sheldon (ben.sheldon.pa@zoo.ox.ac.uk).

Closing date: Sunday 19th February. All applications will be acknowledged. Short-listed candidates will be interviewed in the last week of February 2017.