Scientific Career

MSc (2005) University of Groningen (the Netherlands)
PhD (2009) University of Bath (UK)
2005 – Freelance consultant ornithologist, RIFCoN GmbH (Germany)
2009 – Post-doctoral Research Officer, University of Szeged (Hungary)
2009 – 2010 Post-doctoral Research Officer, University of Bath (UK)
2010 – 2014 Post-doctoral Research Associate, University of Sheffield (UK)
2014 – present Researcher Co-Investigator, University of Sheffield (UK)

MPenduline tity interest in behavioural ecology started at the University of Groningen. For my MSc, supervised by Jan Komdeur, I investigated which individual and environmental traits predict extra-pair mating behaviour in reed buntings, Emberiza schoeniclus. I then did my PhD in a collaborative project with Jan Komdeur and Tamás Székely at the University of Bath (UK) to investigate how Eurasian penduline tits, Remiz pendulinus, decide about parental care. This species exhibits intense sexual conflict: one of the parents always deserts its mate and offspring, leaving the male (at 10% of nests) or the female (at 60% of nests) to look after the babies alone. Additionally, no less than a third of all nests are deserted during the egg-laying phase. During my PhD I have used extensive behavioural observations and game-theoretic modelling to explain this apparently mad parental behaviour.

Recently, Jan KomdeurTamás Székely and I have started to esnake3xtend this work towards a multi-population, multi-species framework to investigate the evolutionary ramifications of breeding systems at the morphological, behavioural, and genetic level, using various field sites in Eurasia and Africa.

I am currently based at the University of Sheffield, working with Ben Hatchwell on the question how sociable weavers, Philetairus socius, avert the tragedy of the commons and avoid inbreeding, see Current Research.


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