University Of Sheffield
Hannah Dugdale's research group

Research interests

Welcome to Hannah Dugdale’s research group. We are interested in how animals can respond to environmental change and variation. Our research focuses on within- and between-individual differences in behavioural and life-history traits in variable, wild populations. We are interested in how these differences evolved and how they are maintained. This will improve our understanding of evolutionary dynamics in wild populations, providing insights into whether animals may cope with rapidly changing environments.


Our research is focused around six topics:


Ageing
Why do individuals age the way they do? We investigate ageing in wild populations, for example by looking at how fecundity declines at old ages and how this differs between males and females (the graph shows fewer badger cubs born to older badgers).
Ageing
Cooperative breeding
Cooperative breeding occurs when individuals help to raise offspring that are not their own. We investigate the fitness components of cooperative breeding to understand how this behaviour evolved and what maintains it, using long-term datasets.
Cooperative
                              Breeding

Sexual selection and mate choice
Understanding variation in promiscuity remains a major challenge. Our research investigates socio-ecological correlates of promiscuity, and how promiscuity is maintained when the assumed benefits of multiple mating to females are rarely demonstrated.
Sexual
                              Selection And Mate Choice

Social behaviour
The behaviour of the social partner, and environmental conditions, may influence the behaviour of the focal individual. Such interactions can alter the direction of selection, so they are critical for our understanding of the evolution of social behaviours.
Social
                              Behaviour

Personalities
Why do individuals consistently behave differently and how are these differences are maintained in populations. We investigate boldness and tendency to explore new areas (e.g. the tent in the picture) and correlate these behaviours with fitness.
Personality

Women in science
We are passionate about promoting women in science and we enjoy teaching about our research to school children. We have conducted research into reasons underlying lower visibility of female scientists at evolutionary biology conferences.
Women In Science


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