Conference – Postgraduate Conference

Several members of the Healy lab attended the University of St Andrews’ annual biology postgraduate conference, with different roles for each. Georgina gave a presentation on the foraging preferences of rufous hummingbirds (and won first prize for best talk), Alexis presented a poster on the effects of early-life experience and social environment on material choice in zebra finches, and Lauren chaired one of the presentation sessions. This year, the postgraduate conference also had a careers event, which Georgina helped to organise, aimed at PhD students and Postdocs to highlight the career paths available to them. So far, the feedback has been extremely positive, and it looks like it will be coming back again next year. Hurrah!

Georgina proudly holding her presentation prize

Conference – British Society for Neuroendocrinology

The British Society for Neuroendocrinology held its annual conference this year in Glasgow between the 28th and 30th of August.  The conference began with a workshop for early-stage researchers, covering the latest scientific techniques, science communication, and publishing.  This was followed by a series of talks and poster presentations from students and scientists from around the world showcasing the latest pioneering research in the field of neuroendocrinology.

David, supervised by Dr Karen Spencer as well as Sue, presented a poster of his work describing how early-life stress induces long-term effects on systems regulating stress and immune responses within the central nervous system of female Japanese quail (Corturnix japonica). David came away from the conference with the first prize for best poster, so well done David!

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


We’ve had a busy few weeks here at the Healy lab, jetting off to all sorts of conferences:

Eira presented not one but two posters for the ESEB meeting at the University of Lausanne, in Switzerland. Both posters focus on nest building in birds, with one detailing the use of different nest material by zebra finches, and the other analysing nest morphology in weaver nests.

Eira poster ida poster




Sue and Lauren attended Behaviour2015 in Cairns, Australia. Along with Carel ten Cate, Sue organized a symposium on Avian Cognition which was very well attended. During the symposium Sue gave a talk about time/place learning in wild hummingbirds and Lauren gave a talk about social learning in nest-building zebra finches. After the conference they visited Macquarie University where Sue gave a departmental seminar on the role of learning in nest-building birds in the Department of Biological Sciences. Their tour continued at Newcastle University where they visited Andrea Griffin (check out their new paper here!)

sue and LG in Newcastle




Last week, Georgina and Nora attended the ASAB Summer Conference at the University of Lincoln. Georgina gave a talk regarding whether parasitoid wasps are “rational”, and Nora spoke about information encoding in tit species, and won a prize for 2nd best talk, so well done!