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

» Research Assistant in Ecological DatabasesMarch 21, 2017

Grade 6: £27,629 – £32,958 p.a.

A Research assistant position based at the Edward Grey Institute, Department of Zoology, University of Oxford is available to work on collating a diverse collection of biological and environmental datasets. The position is funded by the University of Oxford John Fell Fund.

The post is a fixed-term contract for 2 years. The role will involve (a) communicating with Wytham researchers to obtain and collate Wytham Woods datasets and metadata (entering data where necessary), (b) producing a GIS assembly of all the various spatial data available for Wytham, (c), creating a website with descriptions of all the datasets where access permission can be requested. The datasets to be compiled include animal and plant studies, maps and remote sensing data, and historical and environmental data. This post may also involve some fieldwork in Wytham Woods (e.g. collecting GPS data for sampling locations).

The successful candidate must have a degree in a relevant discipline, would be able to demonstrate enthusiasm for biological research and data management, as well as have experience with GIS and statistical software (e.g. ArcGIS, R), experience managing large quantities of data stored in databases and Excel files and excellent communication and organisational skills. Ecological or environmental fieldwork experience is advantageous. Informal inquiries about the positions should be emailed to Dr Ella Cole (

The post is based in a dynamic and research-active institute, of c. 30 people, fully integrated within the Department of Zoology and will have close links to colleagues in the Departments of Zoology and Plant Sciences and the School of Geography and the Environment, and other Wytham research groups in and around Oxford. Further details at:

Applicants must apply online before the closing deadline at 12.00 midday on 26 April 2017. Please upload a CV and supporting statement. For further information and how to apply click here.