Research

Aposematism is an antipredator strategy where a chemically defended (toxic, distasteful etc.) species advertises its unprofitability as prey to potential predators via warning signals such as bright colours. Here, Predator-Prey Interactions Group, we work on many different aspects of aposematism. Broadly speaking, we are interested in the initial evolution of aposematism and its maintenance, particularly the maintenance of diverse warning signals and, more recently of variation in chemical defences. We examine selection pressures acting on aposematic prey, optimal signalling, trade-offs in signal expression, geographic variation in warning signals, and the evolution of Batesian (harmless prey imitates aposematic prey) and Müllerian (aposematic prey imitates another aposematic prey) mimicry. In addition to moths and snakes, and occasionally poison frogs, we have long worked with wild bird predators and artificial prey in the Novel World lab. See more details on the research done by our group by clicking on people‘s links!

 

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