Luke McClean has been awarded a two-year Leverhulme Study Abroad Studentship to carry out MSc research on coevolutionary interactions between lesser honeyguides and their hosts in Zambia, based at the FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology at the University of Cape Town. Luke is a graduate of Queens University, Belfast, and has spent the last two field seasons ably assisting with our work in Zambia. We’re delighted that he’ll be back. Congratulations Luke, and thank you to The Leverhulme Trust for their wonderful support once again. Grants from The Leverhulme Trust also support Gabriel Jamie‘s and Nicholas Horrocks‘s research in Zambia. Thank you!
Our paper ‘Why and how to apply Weber’s Law to coevolution and mimicry’ has been published in the journal Evolution. This perspectives paper, written by Tanmay Dixit, Eleanor Caves, Claire Spottiswoode, and Nicholas Horrocks, argues that Weber’s Law of proportional processing can lead to otherwise counterintuitive predictions about the evolutionary trajectories of mimicry systems. Weber’s Law states that when the magnitude of a stimulus is large, it is more difficult to discriminate a change or difference from that stimulus. In other words, relative differences are more salient than absolute differences. We show that Weber’s Law could have implications for mimicry: when stimulus magnitudes are high, it should be more difficult to discriminate a model from a mimic. This leads to testable predictions about evolutionary trajectories of models and mimics. We also present a framework for testing Weber’s Law and its implications for coevolution.