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Our lab’s research focuses on experimentally testing the impacts of predator-induced fear on population-, community-, and ecosystem dynamics (the "ecology of fear" [PDF]), together with the effects of fear on health, development, gene expression, and neural archiecture in the brain. We conduct large-scale field experiments that provide a unique opportunity to test the demographic and trophic consequences of behavioural, physiological, and neurobiological phenomena. Our approach is to first establish the ecological validity of phenomena in the field and then explore the mechanisms in semi-natural conditions and in the lab.

 

Highlighted News



New PNAS paper [PDF]
Fear of predators in free-living wildlife reduces population growth over generations

Fear itself can halve wildlife populations in 5 years or less!


We report experimentally demonstrating for the first time in any free-living wild animal that the fear predators inspire can itself reduce prey population growth rates. Fear itself caused cumulative, compounding adverse effects on fecundity and every component of offspring survival, reducing the number of young reaching adulthood by 53%. Moreover, these adverse effects extended to those reaching adulthood showing evidence of impaired brain development likely to shorten their survival during adulthood – representing a transgenerational impact reducing population growth over generations.