More good news

Shoko just heard that she has won the Suzuki Award from the Ecological Society of Japan, for her work on construction behaviour in birds.
The Suzuki Award (ESJ encouraging award) is given by The Ecological Society of Japan to promising young scientists within four years after received a doctoral degree. Few recipients each year are selected out of self-appointed applicants of ESJ members or candidates recommended by ESJ members. Each recipient receives JPY 50,000 from the Suzuki Foundation in the Ecological Society of Japan. Nice one Shoko!

Congratulations to Sue who is the new CBD Director

Sue is now, among other many things, the new CBD Director and collaborating with her is the new Deputy Director of the CBD, Dr Maria Dornelas. Cheers!

The Centre for Biological Diversity (CBD) is an interdisciplinary group of researchers across seven schools at the University of St Andrews that are focused on the measurement, origin and consequences of biological variation.


Six students went to Canada and six students came back.

This year’s hummingbird season was all science and all fun. We had three undergrad students collecting data for their dissertation projects  (Caitlin Evans, Mia Corliss and Theo Brown). Maddy Buchanan, a master student, also collected data for her thesis while Kate Hutchings and Gabi Frank helped us out as research assistants. (Also in the photo Andy Hurly, Susan Healy and Maria Tello-Ramos).

Photo by Theo Brown.

After a successful fieldwork season, we are back from the Kalahari.

After a combined four months in the Kalahari, we have all returned to our desk jobs.

From left to right: Lauren, Shoko, Sue, Maria and Isabella

In collaboration with Dr. Andy Young, from the University of Exeter, we have measured hundreds of roosts and filmed the building behaviour of the white-browed sparrow weaver to determine whether the differences in the morphology of the structures built by different colonies are due, in part, to social learning.

Dissertations handed in!

We are very proud for the blue tit team who just handed in their dissertations. Well done!


Kirsty Bond  studied the factors causing female blue tits to change nest box between breeding attempts. Rowan Stanforth assessed the application of a photographic technique to study the composition of nests. Tom Oldridge studied the function of moss in nests of blue tits. Austin Morin measured the effects that temperature has on the building behaviour and reproductive output of blue tits.



We are equally proud and happy for the hummingbird duo!

Catherine Cannell studied whether wild hummingbirds change their foraging routes in response to a decrease in sucrose quality.


Catherine Lo studied relative quantity discrimination in wild hummingbirds.