Animal Behaviour - Research - Biological Sciences - University of Canterbury - New Zealand

Animal Behaviour Research

Research in animal behaviour at Canterbury focuses on behaviours from sexual selection to cognition and communication systems to parental care.

Examples of research include

  • How sperm competition and female choice have shaped the evolution of mating systems in birds.
  • Communication and its fundamental role in the study of animal cognition. This research involves kea, the New Zealand alpine parrot with cognitive abilities rivalling that of primates, and is arguably the world’s most charismatic bird.
  • The jumping spider (Salticidae) Myrmarachne, a genus that mimic ants, as well as various salticids that eat ants and social salticids that live in ‘spider cities’.
  • Using 3D animation techniques and live animal tests to investigate predator and prey assessment decisions

An important new research project links basic research on salticid spider behaviour with applied research into the control of malaria vectors. This objective is being pursued through affiliation with the International Centre for Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE) in Kenya, and at field in the Lake Victoria region of East Africa.

Research Staff

Jim Briskie Prof Jim Briskie
Behavioural Ecology
Dr Ximena Nelson Dr Ximena Nelson
Animal Behaviour
Rober Jackson Prof Robert Jackson
Animal Behaviour

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