Publications

This is a list of our publications arising from or related to our research in Zambia. For publications listed per study species or system, please see the Study systems pages; for a full list of each group member’s publications, please see our individual pages.

  • Dixit, T., Caves, E.M., Spottiswoode, C.N. & Horrocks, N.P.C. (2021) Why and how to apply Weber’s Law to coevolution and mimicry. Evolution doi:10.1111/evo.14290 Read on journal website [Open Access]
  • Caves, E.M., Dixit, T., Colebrook-Robjent, J.F.R., Hamusikili, L., Stevens, M., Thorogood, R. & Spottiswoode, C.N. (2021) Hosts elevate either within-clutch consistency or between-clutch distinctiveness of egg phenotypes in defence against brood parasites. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 288: 20210326. Read on journal website [Open Access]
  • Jamie, G.A., Hamama, S., Moya, C., Kilner, R.M. & Spottiswoode, C.N. (2021) The limits of host colonisation and speciation in a radiation of parasitic finches. Behavioral Ecology 32: 529-538. Read on journal website [Open Access]
  • Jamie, G.A., Van Belleghem, S., Hogan, B., Hamama, S., Moya, C., Troscianko, J., Stoddard, M.C., Kilner, R.M. & Spottiswoode, C.N. (2020) Multimodal mimicry of hosts in a radiation of parasitic finches. Evolution 74: 2526-2538 Read on journal website [Open Access]  Read a Digest piece on this research by Bosque et al. [Open Access]
  • Jamie, G.A.* & J. I. Meier.* (2020). The persistence of polymorphisms across species radiations. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 35: 795-808 Read on journal website
  • Jones, S.E.*, Jamie, G.A.*, Sumbane, M. & Jocque, M. (2020) The avifauna, conservation and biogeography of the Njesi Highlands in northern Mozambique, with a review of the country’s Afromontane birdlife. Ostrich 91: 45-56 Read on journal website
  • Sorensen, M.C., Dixit, T., Newton, J., Kardynal, K., Hobson, K., Bensch, S., Jenni-Eiereman, S. & Spottiswoode, C.N. (2019) Migration distance does not predict blood parasitism in a Palearctic-African migratory bird. Ecology and Evolution 9: 8294-8304. Read on journal website [Open Access]
  • Bryan, K.M. & Jamie, G.A. (2019) Little Bee-eater Merops pusillus feeding two Greater Honeyguide Indicator indicator fledglings in Botswana. Bulletin of the African Bird Club 26: 101-102. Download PDF
  • Thorogood, R., Spottiswoode, C.N., Portugal, S.J. & Gloag, R. (2019) The coevolutionary biology of brood parasitism: a call for integration. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 374: 20180190. Read on journal website [Open Access]
  • McClelland, S.C., Jamie, G.A., Waters, K., Caldas, L., Spottiswoode, C.N. & Portugal, S.J. (2019) Convergent evolution of reduced eggshell conductance in avian brood parasites. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B374: 20180194. 70. Read on journal website [Open Access]
  • Spottiswoode, C.N.* & Busch, R.* (2019) Vive la difference! Self/non-self recognition and the evolution of signature polymorphism in arms races with parasites. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 374: 20180206.Read on journal website [Open Access]
  • Stoddard, M.C., Hogan, B., Stevens, M. & Spottiswoode, C.N. (2019) Higher-level pattern features provide additional information to birds when recognizing and rejecting parasitic eggs. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 374: 20180197. Read on journal website [Open Access]
  • Jamie, G.A. & Kilner, R.M. (2017) Begging call mimicry by brood parasite nestlings: adaptation, manipulation and development. In: Avian Brood Parasitism edited by Manuel Soler, Springer Publishing Company
  • Stevens, M., Troscianko, J., Wilson-Aggarwal, J.K. & Spottiswoode, C.N. (2017) Improvement of individual camouflage through background choice in ground-nesting birds. Nature Ecology & Evolution 1: 1325-1333. Read on journal website [Open Access]
  • Spottiswoode, C.N. (2017) Perspectives: The most perfect thing, explained. Science 356: 1234-1235. For link to full text please see Claire’s page
  • Caves, E.M., Stevens, M. & Spottiswoode, C.N. (2017) Does coevolution with a shared parasite drive hosts to partition their defences among species? Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 284: 20170272 Read on journal website [Open Access]
  • Jamie, G.A. (2017) Signals, cues and the nature of mimicry. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 284: 20162080. Read on journal website
  • Troscianko, J. Wilson-Aggarwal, J., Griffiths, D., Spottiswoode, C.N. & Stevens, M. (2017) Relative advantages of dichromatic and trichromatic color vision in camouflage breaking. Behavioral Ecology 28: 556-564. Read on journal website [Open Access]
  • Sorensen, M.C., Fairhurst, G.D., Jenni-Eiermann, D., Newton, J., Yohannes, E. & Spottiswoode, C.N. (2016) Seasonal rainfall at long-term migratory staging sites is associated with altered carry-over effects in a Palearctic-African migratory bird. BMC Ecology 16: 41. Read on journal website [Open Access]
  • Spottiswoode, C.N., Begg, K.S. & Begg, C.M. (2016) Reciprocal signaling in human-honeyguide mutualism. Science 353: 387-389. For link to full text please see Claire’s page
  • Wilson-Aggarwal, J., Troscianko, J., Stevens, M. & Spottiswoode, C.N. (2016) Escape distance in ground-nesting birds differs with level of individual camouflage. American Naturalist 188: 231–239. Read on journal website [Open Access]
  • Péron, G., Altwegg, R., Jamie, G.A. & Spottiswoode, C.N. (2016) Coupled range dynamics of brood parasites and their hosts responding to climate and vegetation changes. Journal of Animal Ecology 85: 1191–1199. Read on journal website
  • Jamie, G.A., Moya, C. & Hamusikili, L. (2016) Incubation and nest-defence behaviour of Streaky-breasted Flufftail Sarothrura boehmi in Zambia. Bulletin of the African Bird Club 23: 82–85. Download PDF
  • Horrocks, N.P.C. (2016) Usurpation of a Crowned Lapwing Vanellus coronatus nest by African Wattled Lapwings V. senegalensis. Ostrich 87: 95-97. Read on journal website
  • Sorensen, M.C., Jenni-Eiermann, S. & Spottiswoode, C.N. (2016) Why do migratory birds sing on their tropical wintering grounds? American Naturalist 187: E65–E76. Read on journal website
  • Troscianko, J., Wilson-Aggarwal, J., Stevens, M. & Spottiswoode, C.N. (2016) Camouflage directly predicts the survival probability of ground-nesting birds. Scientific Reports 6: 19966. Read on journal website [Open Access]
  • Sorensen, M.C., Asghar, M., Bensch, S., Fairhurst, G.D., Jenni-Eiermann, S. & Spottiswoode, C.N. (2016) A rare study from the wintering grounds provides insight into the costs of malaria infection for migratory birds. Journal of Avian Biology 57: 575–582. Read on journal website [Open Access]
  • Caves, E.M., Stevens, M., Iversen, E. & Spottiswoode, C.N. (2015) Hosts of brood parasites have evolved egg signatures with elevated information content. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 282: 20150598. Read on journal website [Open Access]
  • Feeney, W.E., Troscianko, J., Langmore, N.E. & Spottiswoode, C.N. (2015) Evidence for aggressive mimicry in an adult brood parasitic bird, and generalised defences in its host. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 282: 2015079. Read on journal website [Open Access]
  • El-Arabany, N., Sorensen, M.C. & Hansson, B. (2015) Inferring the links between breeding and wintering grounds in a Palearctic-African migratory bird, the Great Reed Warbler, using mitochondrial DNA data. African Zoology 50: 241-248.
  • Tong, W., Horrocks, N.P.C. & Spottiswoode, C.N. (2015) The sight of an adult brood parasite near the nest is an insufficient cue for a honeyguide host to reject foreign eggs. Ibis 157: 626-630. Read on journal website [Open Access]
  • Sorensen, M.C. (2014) Singing in Africa: no evidence for a long supposed function of winter song in a migratory songbird. Behavioral Ecology 25: 909-915. Read on journal website [Open Access]
  • Spottiswoode, C.N. (2013) Perspectives: How cooperation defeats cheats. Science 342: 1452-1453. Read on journal website
  • Stevens, M., Troscianko, J. & Spottiswoode, C.N. (2013) Repeated targeting of the same hosts by a brood parasite compromises host egg rejection. Nature Communications 4: 2475. Read on journal website [Open Access]
  • Spottiswoode, C.N. (2013) A brood parasite selects for its own eggs traits.Biology Letters 9: 20130573. Read on journal website [Open Access]
  • Corfield, J.R., Birkhead, T.R., Spottiswoode, C.N., Iwaniuk, A.N., Boogert, N.J., Gutiérrez-Ibáñez, C., Overington, S.E., Wylie, D.R. & Lefebvre, L. (2013) Brain size and morphology of the brood-parasitic and cerophagous honeyguides (Aves: Piciformes). Brain, Behaviour and Evolution 81: 170-186. Download PDF
  • Spottiswoode, C.N. & Stevens, M. (2012) Host-parasite arms races and rapid changes in bird egg appearance. American Naturalist 179: 633-648. Download PDF
  • Spottiswoode, C.N. & Koorevaar, J. (2012) A stab in the dark: chick killing by brood parasitic honeyguides. Biology Letters 8: 241-244. Read on journal website [Open Access]
  • Spottiswoode, C.N., Kilner, R.M. & Davies, N.B. (2012) Brood parasitism. in: Royle, N.J., Smiseth, P.T. & Kölliker, M. (Eds) The Evolution of Parental Care. Oxford University Press. Download chapter PDF
  • Langmore, N.E. & Spottiswoode, C.N. (2012) Host manipulation through visual trickery in avian brood parasites. in: Hughes, D.P., Brodeur, J. & Thomas, F. (Eds) Host Manipulation By Parasites. Oxford University Press. Download chapter PDF
  • Spottiswoode, C.N., Stryjewski, K.F., Quader, S., Colebrook-Robjent, J.F.R. & Sorenson, M.D. (2011) Ancient host-specificity within a single species of brood parasitic bird. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 108: 17738-17742. Read on journal website [Open Access]
  • Spottiswoode, C.N. & Stevens, M. (2011) How to evade a coevolving brood parasite: egg discrimination versus egg variability as host defences. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 278: 3566-3573. Read on journal website [Open Access]
  • Birkhead, T.R., Hemmings, N., Spottiswoode, C.N., Mikulica, O, Moskát, C., Bán, M. & Schulze-Hagen, K. (2011) Internal incubation and early hatching in brood parasitic birds. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 278, 1019-1024. Read on journal website [Open Access]
  • Spottiswoode, C.N. (2010) The evolution of host-specific variation in cuckoo eggshell strength. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 23: 1792-1799. Read on journal website [Open Access]
  • Spottiswoode, C.N. & Stevens, M. (2010) Visual modeling shows that avian host parents use multiple visual cues in rejecting parasitic eggs. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 107: 8672-8676. Read on journal website [Open Access]
  • Spottiswoode, C.N. & Colebrook-Robjent, J.F.R. (2007) Egg puncturing by the brood parasitic Greater Honeyguide and potential host counteradaptations. Behavioral Ecology 18: 792-799. Download PDF

 

News

New paper published on Weber’s Law and mimicry

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. 

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New paper on evolution of egg signatures

Our paper “Hosts elevate either within-clutch consistency or between-clutch distinctiveness of egg phenotypes in defence against brood parasites” has just been published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B. In this study, led by Eleanor Caves, we asked how host eggs evolve adaptations that allow them better to discriminate their own eggs from parasitic eggs. Theoretically, hosts can generate their own individually-distinctive egg ‘signatures’ by laying eggs that appear similar to one another (consistency) but look very different from other individuals’ eggs (distinctiveness). In this new study, we show that host species of two African brood parasites deploy either consistency or distinctiveness, but not both, as defences, and achieve distinctiveness by combining egg colours and patterns in unpredictable combinations.

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Mairenn Attwood awarded Cambridge teaching prize

Congratulations to Mairenn Attwood for being awarded the Janet Moore Prize for teaching in the Department of Zoology at the University of Cambridge, for her outstanding tutorial supervision of final-year undergraduate students, who praised her breadth and depth of knowledge, enthusiasm, and friendliness.  Mairenn follows in the footsteps of Tanmay Dixit who was awarded the Janet Moore Prize in 2020. Well done both for inspiring the next generation of behavioural ecologists!

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