Well done, Nora!

A big congratulations to Nora who will be joining a lab run by Rita Covas, Claire Doutrelant, & Fanny Ryback. She’ll be studying cooperative behaviour in sociable weavers in South Africa starting in the end of September, and when she’s not in the field she’ll be split between the University of Montpellier and University of Porto. Well done, Nora!!

Outreach – LevelUp Human

In September last year, Sue joined in with Scotland’s Explorathon event by being a panel member on LevelUp Human, where a panel of judges decides what would be the best way to enhance the human race. The resulting comedy podcast is now available here, and because it relies partially on audience suggestion the podcast also includes suggested upgrades from lab and audience members Lauren, Nora, and Georgina.

Conference – Behaviour 2017

David oozing coolness at Behaviour 2017

The Healy lab descended in full force on the Behaviour 2017 conference (perhaps partially because it was held in sunny Portugal, see image at end).

Sue certainly had a full programme. Not only was there a book launch for Avian Cognition, edited by Sue and Carel ten Cate (available here), but Sue also participated in the ‘meet the editors’ session (as chief-editor of Animal Behaviour), chaired one of the Animal Cognition talks sessions, and then delivered a talk on variation in hummingbird cognitive abilities, as well as a plenary on “Bringing Tinbergen to a neglected behaviour: nest building by birds”. Between all of this I am told that she did have an afternoon free to lay by the pool.

David gave a talk on visual navigation in hummingbirds, and Nora presented her work on recognition of novel predators in tits. Finally, Lauren also gave a talk on immediate early gene expression and social learning in zebra finches.

Sue delivering her plenary talk on “Bringing Tinbergen to a neglected behaviour: nest building by birds”

Sue giving her talk on variation in hummingbird cognitive abilities

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lauren making friends

 

 

 

David gave a talk on visual navigation in hummingbirds

Nora presented her work on British tits

 

Not a bad location for a conference

Outreach – Ringing Demonstration

Nora and Sophie helped out at a ringing demonstration at Strathkinness Primary School, arranged by Karen Spencer. They helped postdoc Jeroen Minderman, and Shirley Millar (a member of the Tay Ringing Group) ring great tits, blue tits, robins and golden finches. Following the ringing, Nora and Sophie talked to the children about birds, including why they ring them, and how to age and identify the birds.

 

Outreach – Explorathon 2016

The Healy lab came out in full force for Explorathon 2016, an event based on discovery which aims to engage and entertain the public. This year Explorathon celebrated European Researchers’ Night by holding events all over Scotland, including in St Andrews. These events brought together researchers and the public through a series of informative and fun activities, which members of the Healy lab were proud to be part of:

The XX Factor:

gtalk noratalknorawinNora and Georgina joined in The XX Factor, where female researchers talk about their work, but just as importantly how they got to where they are today. With the aim to inspire others, the event held a competitive edge but it was Nora who took home the prize for most inspirational researcher, so a huge well done to her!

 

Research in Action!:

nestsmallnest2

It’s the return of the nest building stall! With help from Lauren, Eira, Nora, Georgina, and Tayanne Corbani, members of the public were invited to have a go at building a nest. Not only that, but the nest had to be solid enough to hold a chocolate egg, which the builder could keep at the end.

 

Level Up Human:

suetalk

Finally, Sue partook in the event ‘Level Up Human‘ where a panel tries to decide how best to improve humans, be it through the ability to talk to animals, breathe fire, or be able to download dreams.

Conference – ISBE

Dave Shuker joining Nora, Georgina, and Sue for a lab photo outside the conference venue

Nora, Georgina, and Sue all attended the International Society for Behavioral Ecology conference held in Exeter. This conference marked the 30th anniversary since the founding of ISBE, and as a result attendees were able to purchase special anniversary t-shirts, as shown below.

Nora modelling one of the ISBE anniversary t-shirts

At the conference, Nora gave a talk about information encoding strategies in UK tit species, whilst in the poster session Georgina presented her work on whether rufous hummingbirds make “irrational” decisions. Finally, Sue also joined in by chairing a session on cognitive processes. A productive conference all round!

Georgina presenting her poster on decision-making in hummingbirds

Well done Nora – 3rd best talk

nora prize

Nora receiving her prize from Jessica van der Wal, another conference organiser

Congratulations to Nora who won 3rd prize for best talk at the third European Student Conference on Behaviour and Cognition, which was hosted in St Andrews this year and organised by four PhD students, including Georgina and Alexis. Nora’s prize was ‘Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?” by Frans de Waal. Well done Nora!