The Cognition of Nest Building

Lead Research Organisation: University of Edinburgh
Department Name: The Roslin Institute

Abstract

For all that bird nests have attracted centuries of interest, we know almost nothing about why birds build the nests they do. Here we propose to answer these questions and by so doing provide insight into the evolution of cognition. The prime objectives of the work proposed here are to determine the role that cognition plays in nest building and where in the brain control of nest building occurs. The discovery of tool manufacture and use by New Caledonian crows in the 1990's has led to considerable interest in the cognitive abilities required for such behaviour and the light that might then be shed on tool manufacture in humans. These insights, exciting as they are, have not yet enabled the issue of why some birds manufacture tools and others do not. Answering that question might allow us to determine the conditions under which physical cognition evolves and to determine how physical cognition differs from more general cognition abilities. Here we suggest that nest building in birds, in which the manipulation of plant and inanimate material bears a striking outward resemblance to that seen in tool use, may allow us to address these issues. Unlike tool use, which occurs relatively rarely and tends to be either present or absent, nest building is both ubiquitous and varies considerably in degree. If nest building does require some cognitive ability, the diversity of that variation allows for comparisons across species to examine the conditions under which variation in nest building occurs and those that have led to elaboration of those structures. In this project we propose to establish whether nest building does require cognition and, by determining the neural basis of the behaviour, to examine the relative contributions of cognitive and motor skills. We intend to do this using a multi-stranded approach incorporating field and laboratory experiments and two 'model' systems: weaver birds, iconic 'complex' nest builders and zebra finches, the iconic avian neural system. We would carry out experiments involving manipulation of the nest structure and varying the availability and kind of nesting materials to examine the role of cognition, utilize cross-fostering as a tool to examine heritability of nest building, use immediate early gene expression and volumetric analyses to determine where in the brain control of nest building occurs and carry out a cross-species comparison of nest structure to pinpoint the major variables contributing to the variation in that structure. In sum, we contend that this approach offers a novel way to address a number of hotly debated questions such as: what is complex cognition?, why did complex cognition evolve? and why are some animals makers of tools and others not?

Technical Summary

We know almost nothing about why birds build the nests they do. We propose to answer this question and thus provide insight into the evolution of cognition. The key objectives of the work are to determine whether nest building requires cognition and what brain structures are used. The discovery of tool manufacture by crows in the 1990's has led to considerable interest in the cognitive abilities required for such behaviour and the light thus shed on tool making in humans. These exciting insights have not yet, however, told us why only some birds make tools. Answering that question may allow us to determine the conditions under which physical cognition evolves and how physical cognition differs from more general cognitive abilities. We suggest that nest building in birds, in which the manipulation of plant material bears an outward resemblance to that seen in tool use, may allow us to address these issues. Unlike tool use, which is relatively rare, nest building is both ubiquitous and varies in degree. If nest building does require cognition, variation in nest diversity allows for phylogenetic analyses examining the conditions leading to that variation and to elaboration. Here we propose to establish whether nest building requires cognition and, by determining its neural basis, to examine the relative contributions of cognitive and motor skills. We intend to do this with a multi-stranded approach using field and laboratory experiments and two 'model' systems: weaver birds, iconic 'complex' nest builders and zebra finches, the iconic avian neural system. In our experiments we would manipulate the nest and vary nest materials to examine the role of cognition, utilize cross-fostering to examine heritability of nest building, use immediate early gene expression and volumetric analyses to determine where in the brain control of nest building occurs and carry out a phylogenetic analysis of nests to pinpoint variables contributing to structural variation.

Planned Impact

The PI is regularly invited to deliver plenary talks on her work and both she and the co-PI regularly attend major international conferences. The work is likely to be published in high quality journals. The PI currently supervises a BBSRC CASE student who is addressing the question as to why Hooded crows nest on electrical transformer boxes on power lines on the Orkneys (CASE partner is Scottish and Southern Electrical plc). Nest building on manmade structures is a significant problem worldwide and increasing the understanding of how and why birds build nest and choice of nest site is likely to lead to the development of technology to reduce problems caused by nesting. The PI and the co-PI have industrial contacts and they would continue to pursue to develop these. The PDRA and the RA would both learn a range of skills, from the neural to whole animal, from experimentation in both the field and the laboratory. Presentation skills would be enhanced in the PDRA and the RA by attendance at conferences, paper writing and presentations at regular lab meetings. In addition the PDRA would be expected to supervise undergraduate research projects along with the PI and the co-PI. Both would be encouraged to attend appropriate training courses as offered either locally (St Andrews offers suitable courses) or nationally. Nests and nest building attract considerable public interest. In particular, the Botswana site allows for very high quality video data to be collected for public consumption such as static displays for museums. The PDRA would be expected to participate in public engagement activities run by Edinburgh Neuroscience (http://www.edinburghneuroscience.ed.ac.uk/publicengagement/index.html) such as the Edinburgh Science Festival and GetBrainy workshops for schools. The PI would offer a Royal Society Summer presentation, make contact with human basket makers (some contact already made) and with ESRC-funded researchers looking at human basket making. The PI gives talks at a range of public fora (e.g. Edinburgh zoo, Glasgow Skeptics) and would pursue all opportunities to continue and widen exposure of this work to a broad community. The co-PI would offer public lectures and to connect with Edinburgh Neuroscience public engagement e.g. Inspace (http://www.edinburghneuroscience.ed.ac.uk/publicengagement/Inspace/index.html).

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description Progress on our objectives to date:
1) whether nest-building in two species of weaverbird and in zebra finches has a cognitive component;
?To date, we have demonstrated that nest building in zebra finches has a significant cognitive component, specifically that zebra finches choose the material with which to build their nest based on their own experiences: after a short period of building with relatively flexible string, birds preferred to build with stiffer string while those that had experienced a stiffer string were indifferent to string type. After building a complete nest with either string type, however, all birds increased their preference for stiff string. The stiffer string appeared to be the more effective building material as birds required fewer pieces of stiffer than flexible string to build a roofed nest. This material preference was not a reflection of the father's preference or that of the siblings. This is evidence that nest material preference is not entirely genetically predetermined as many continue to believe. Furthermore, juvenile experience of either string type increased the birds' preference for building with the stiffer string. We have shown, therefore, that these birds learn both which material is the better material with which to build and that they can learn the material's structural properties.
Publication: Bailey, I.E., Morgan, K.V., Bertin, M., Meddle, S.L. & Healy, S.D. 2014. Physical cognition: birds learn the structural efficacy of nest material. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 281, 1784, 20133225.
We have also shown that zebra finches tend to choose nest material that matches the background where their nest cup is located, providing the first experimental evidence that they choose to camouflage their nest.
Publication: Bailey, IE, Muth, F, Morgan, KV, Meddle, SL & Healy, SD. 2015. Birds build camouflaged nests. Auk, 132, 13-17.
We have collected field data on the locations that known weavers go to collect material (for 2 nests each for 12 birds). Each male collected material from a different location, a location that reflected the location of his territory within the nesting colony. The data collection and analysis involved collaboration with colleagues at Univ Cape Town, South Africa and in Mathematics & Statistics at Univ St Andrews.
Manuscript submitted: Bailey, IE,Morgan, KV, Oschadleus, D, DeRuiter, S Meddle, SL & Healy, SD. Nest-building males trade-off material collection costs with territory value. Ibis
We have analysed textural data from the collection of weaver bird nests and found that it is possible to identify an individual signature of each male in the textural patterns of the nests they build. The data collection and analysis involved collaboration with colleagues at Universidade Federal de Uberlândia, Brazil and in Biological Sciences at Univ Edinburgh.
Manuscript submitted: Bailey, IE,Morgan, Backes, A, Walsh, PT, KV, Oschadleus, D, DeRuiter, S Meddle, SL & Healy, SD. Image analysis of weaverbird nests reveals signature weave textures. Royal Society Open Science.
In progress
We have collected data on repeatability of position in the nest of sequentially numbered pieces of string to identify similarity in nest structure within individual males. Analysis underway.

(2) to identify the neural basis of nest-building in one of those species (zebra finches);
We used Fos immunohistochemistry to quantify production of the immediate early gene protein product c-Fos in the brain correlated this expression with the variation in nesting behavior. We found that neural circuitry involved in motor sequencing, social behavior, reward and motivation were active during nesting. Within pairs of nesting birds, the number of times a male picked up or deposited nesting material and the amount of time a female spent in the nest explained the variation in Fos expression in the anterior motor pathway, social behavior network, and reward neural circuits.
Publication: Hall, ZJ, Bertin, M, Bailey, IE, Meddle, SL & Healy, SD. 2014. Neural correlates of nesting behavior in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata). Behavioural Brain Research, 264, 26-33.
During nesting behaviour in zebra finches, the social decision-making network appears to be active. Several nuclei in this circuit contain neuron populations that use the nonapeptides vasotocin and mesotocin or the neurotransmitter dopamine, all thought to be involved in mediating social behaviour. We have, therefore, tested whether nesting behaviour is correlated with neuronal activity, measured indirectly by production of Fos in vasotocin, mesotocin, and dopamine systems. We have performed double immunohistochemistry on brain tissue from nesting and non-nesting zebra finches for Fos combined with arginine vasotocin or oxytocin or tyrosine hydroxylase. We have quantified the number of double-labelled cells in different neuronal populations and correlated this with the variation in nesting behaviour.
Publication: Hall, ZJ, Healy, SD &. Meddle, SL. 2015. A role for nonapeptides and dopamine in nest-building behaviour. Journal of Neuroendocrinology, 25, 158-165

3) to perform a phylogenetic analysis of nest-building to determine the relative contribution of a number of possible explanatory variables to explaining variation in nest structure.
?? We tested whether the degree of cerebellar foliation correlates positively with the processing capacity of the cerebellum, supporting complex motor abilities, particularly manipulative skills by investigating the relationship between cerebellar foliation and species-typical nest structure in birds. Increasing complexity of nest structure is a measure of a bird's ability to manipulate nesting material into the required shape. Consistent with our hypothesis, avian cerebellar foliation increases as the complexity of the nest built increases.
Publication: Hall, Z.J, Street, S & Healy, SD. 2013. The evolution of cerebellum structure correlates with nest complexity. Biology Letters, 9, 20130687.
? We have found that babbler species that build domed nests construct those nests closer to the ground than do cup-nest building relatives. Furthermore, constructing cup nests co-evolved with nesting off the ground and constructing dome nests co-evolved with nesting on the ground. This is the first study to use formal statistical methods to identify evolutionary pathways in nest structure and location.
Publication: Hall, Z.J., Street, S. & Healy, S.D. 2015. The co-evolution of building nests on the ground and domed nests in Timaliidae. Auk, in press.
????????? received 150 blackbird nests from around the UK and have found that the considerable variation in the structure of those nests is correlated with environmental conditions at the time of nest building.
Manuscript submitted: Morgan, KV, Bailey, IE, S Meddle, SL & Healy, SD. Blackbirds change nest location, material and structure in response to climatic conditions. Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology.
Dissemination of the project data to date:
Healy, PI, speaker
2015: Talks: University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia; Deakin University, Victoria; ANU, Canberra.
2014: Keynote speaker, International Ornithological Congress, Tokyo, Japan; Talks: Comparative Cognition Conference, Florida, USA; Dept Biology, Univ Durham, UK; 2013: Plenary: French Society for the Study of Animal Behaviour, Dijon, France; Invited Symposium speaker: International Ethological Congress, Newcastle, UK; 2012: Talks: Nest Construction & Function, Lincoln, UK
Dr Ida Bailey, PDRA, speaker
2013: Talks: International Ethological Congress, Newcastle, UK; Dept Biology, Univ Cape Town, Sth Africa
Zach Hall, PhD student, speaker
1. 2014: Talks: ASAB conference, Sheffield, UK; SCAB conference, Edinburgh, UK; 2013: International Ethological Congress, Newcastle, UK; 2012: ASAB Interdisciplinary Workshop, Univ Birmingham, UK; Nest Construction & Function, Lincoln, UK
Interviews: BBC, CBBC, CBC Quirks and Quarks, Wave 102 radio, Saltire News agency, Irish Times and more.
Fife Science Festival Half day workshop, 2013: How do birds know what nest to build? Talks by Sue Healy and colleague Stephanie Bunn (Social Anthropology, Univ St Andrews) plus a two-hour hands-on nest building session for children and their parents to build nests. 70 attendees from across Fife.
Leuchars School Science Week, 2013: How do birds know what nest to build?A talk by PDRA Dr Ida Bailey plus a hands-on nest-building session with school children (with RA Dr Kate Morgan).
U/g and MSc student involvement: 1 BBSRC research Experience Placement (2013); 2 undergraduate research projects (2012, 2013); 3 u/g interns 3-12 mths (2012, 2013, 2014); 1 MSc research project.
Exploitation Route Academic researchers
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Environment,Healthcare

 
Description Core Member BBSRC Panel A Response Mode
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guideline committee
 
Description Deputy Chair BBSRC Response Mode Panel A
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
 
Description BBSRC DTP PhD Studentship
Amount £90,000 (GBP)
Organisation East of Scotland BioScience (EastBio) 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2015 
End 10/2019
 
Description BBSRC EASTBIO in vivo skills award
Amount £3,500 (GBP)
Organisation East of Scotland BioScience (EastBio) 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2015 
End 10/2019
 
Description BBSRC Japan Partnering award
Amount £41,776 (GBP)
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 12/2015 
End 12/2019
 
Description Nest building in Birds Dr Healy 
Organisation University of St Andrews
Department School of Biology
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Expertise, intellectual input and access to facilities.
Collaborator Contribution Expertise, intellectual input and access to facilities.
Impact Hall ZJ, Ihalainen E, Meddle SL & Healy SD (2017). Cerebellar correlates of avian nest-building behaviour. Brain Behav. Evol. (Submitted Dec 2015; under revision). Bailey IE, Morgan KV, Oschadleus D, DeRuiter SL, Meddle SL & Healy SD (2016) Nest-building males trade-off material collection costs with territory value. Emu 116, 1-8. http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/MU15022. Hall ZJ, Meddle SL & Healy SD (2016) From neurones to nests: nest-building behaviour as a model in behavioural and comparative neuroscience. J. Ornithology 156:S133-143; doi: 10.1007/s10336-015-1214-5. Hall ZJ, Healy SD & Meddle SL (2015) A role for nonapeptides and dopamine in nest-building behaviour. J. Neuroendocrinol. 27(2):158-165. Bailey IE, Muth F, Morgan K, Meddle SL & Healy SD (2015) Birds build camouflaged nests. The Auk: Ornithological Advances. 132:11-15. Bailey IE, Backes A, Walsh PT, Morgan KV, Meddle SL & Healy SD (2015) Woven signatures: Image analysis of weaverbird nests reveals signature weave patterns. Royal Soc. Open Sci. doi: 10.1098/rsos.150074. Hall ZJ, Bertin M, Bailey IE, Meddle SL & Healy SD (2014) Neural correlates of nest building in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata). Behav. Brain. Res. 264:26-33. Bailey IE, Morgan KV, Bertin M, Meddle SL & Healy SD (2014) Physical cognition: birds learn the structural efficacy of nest material. Proc. Roy. Soc. B 2014281(1784):20133225. Hodgson ZG, Meddle SL, Christians J, Sperry TS & Healy SD (2008) Influence of sex steroid hormones on spatial memory in a songbird. J. Comp. Physiol. A. 194: 963-969. Hodgson ZG, Meddle SL, Roberts ML, Buchanan KL, Evans MR, Metzdorf R, Gahr M, & Healy SD (2007) Spatial ability impairment and hippocampal mineralcorticoid receptor mRNA expression reduction in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) selected for acute high corticosterone responses. Proc. Roy. Soc. Lond. B. 274: 239-245.
 
Description Prof Sue Healy, The University of St Andrews 
Organisation University of St Andrews
Department School of Biology
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Long term collaborator. Share east BioDTP.
Collaborator Contribution collaboration in data generation.
Impact BBSRC response mode grants. East BioDTP. Publications.
 
Description Prof. J. Wingfield, UC Davis, USA. 
Organisation University of California, Davis
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Won National Science Foundation, USA 3 year Research Grant (2016-2019) "Modulation of the Adrenocortical Responses to Perturbations of the Environment". Co-Investigator. Grant jointly held with Prof. J. Wingfield, UC Davis, USA. Ongoing data collection, publications and talks
Collaborator Contribution won National Science Foundation, USA 3 year Research Grant (2016-2019) "Modulation of the Adrenocortical Responses to Perturbations of the Environment". Co-Investigator. Grant jointly held with Prof. J. Wingfield, UC Davis, USA.Ongoing data collection, publications and talks
Impact Publications and training of post docs and PhD students. Presentations workshops and conference organisation.
 
Description Hosted female pupil to gain hands on 1 week work experience 'researcher shadowing' in my lab 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact hosted female pupil to gain hands on 1 week work experience 'researcher shadowing' in my lab and visit sparked pupil to successfully apply to study neuroscience at Glasgow university
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description 2014 Neuroleadership Institute speaker Scottish Local Interest Group Expert Scientist. The neurobiology of love. I wrote, led and delivered the workshop. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact 2014 Neuroleadership Institute speaker Scottish Local Interest Group Expert Scientist. The neurobiology of love. I wrote, led and delivered the workshop.
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Description Aurora Academic mentor (Inspiring leadership in women, Leadership foundation for higher education 
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Results and Impact Aurora Academic mentor (Inspiring leadership in women, Leadership foundation for higher education. Coaching and mentor
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015,2016,2017
 
Description BBC Expert Women 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
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Geographic Reach International
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Results and Impact BBC Expert Women; Field Biologist: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Vx8FJg3VXo
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description BBC Radio Scotland Brain Waves 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact BBC Radio Scotland Brain Waves Interviewed as Expert Scientist on the neurobiology of love an attachment for a Valentines special.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description BBSRC Pool of Experts 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact BBSRC media: What it's like to be a BBSRC committee member https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zidU5cl--lo
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Birds! | PolarTREC (Teachers and Researchers Exploring and Collaborating) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Birds! | PolarTREC
PolarTREC (Teachers and Researchers Exploring and Collaborating) is a program in which K-12 teachers spend 3-6 weeks participating in hands-on field research experiences in the polar regions. The goal of PolarTREC is to invigorate polar science education and understanding by bringing K-12 educators and polar researchers together.

Program Development

PolarTREC was developed based on the strengths of the past PolarTREC (2007-2009) and TREC programs, as well as other teacher research experience (TRE's) programs.

Built on the successes of the previous three-year program and adapted to further meet diverse participant needs, PolarTREC is a multi-year project with four major categories of interrelated activities making up the PolarTREC Teacher Research Experience Model.

The main components of PolarTREC Include:
•provide hands-on field research experiences that are implemented in the polar regions;
•broadly disseminate teacher experiences to students, professionals, and the public;
•develop a sustainable learning community; and
•provide clear and appropriate measures of project success.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.polartrec.com/comment/24084
 
Description Designed and delivered Neurobehaviour training day workshop for East Bio DTP Students. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Designed and delivered Neurobehaviour training day workshop for East Bio DTP Students.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Edinburgh University student Zoological Society Guest lecturer 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact Edinburgh University student Zoological Society Guest lecturer. Talked about my research "Breeding Birds: Adaptations to reproducing in an unpredictable environment" and women in STEM. Lots of good discussion.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Expert Women's Day Scotland. BBC Scotland 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Expert Women's Day Scotland. BBC Scotland Glasgow. Selected from over 500 applications for media training.
The aim of the day was to give an introduction to the world of the media, the opportunity to meet some industry professionals as well as getting some hands on training, both on air and on screen.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Expert Women's Day Scotland. BBC Scotland Glasgow. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Expert Women's Day Scotland. BBC Scotland Glasgow. August 2013. Selected from over 500 applications for media training.
The aim of the day was to give an introduction to the world of the media, the opportunity to meet some industry professionals as well as getting some hands on training, both on air and on screen.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Haddington Camera Club. From the arctic to Australia. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Haddington Camera Club. Gave a talk "From the arctic to Australia" about my research and travels with birds.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Hosted female German Erasmus exchange student on 3 month work experience 'researcher shadowing' in my lab. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Hosted female German Erasmus exchange student on 3 month work experience 'researcher shadowing' in my lab. Following her research experience she is going to apply for a masters or PhD program.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Interconnect Student Network is a networking organisation for women in STEM 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Promoting the advancement of women in STEM subjects by championing engagement with Athena SWAN-related activities: Invited speaker, Interconnect March 2014 - Student Network is a networking organisation for women studying science, engineering, technology (SET) and the built environment in Scotland.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Kickstart University of Edinburgh Widening Participation Summer School Neuroscience workshop. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Kickstart University of Edinburgh Widening Participation Summer School 2016 Neuroscience workshop. I wrote, led and delivered the workshop.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014,2015,2016
 
Description Midlothian Science festival 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Science festival to highlight research at the roslin Institute and encourage questions relating to research
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013,2014
 
Description Midlothian open doors day 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Highlights research at the Institute to the general public including school children
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012,2013,2014,2015,2016
 
Description North for Science! The biology of birds breeding in the Arctic workshop for school pupils 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact A workshop for north American school pupils (14 to 16 year olds) on the breeding biology of birds in the Arctic. Promote STEM
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Open doors day 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Over 200 members of the public attended which sparked questions and discussion regarding our research
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012,2013,2014,2015,2016
 
Description School visit Get Loving School Workshop on the Neurobiology of love. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact 30 school pupils engaged in workshop in neuroscience which sparked interest in the Roslin institute and going to university
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
 
Description School visit to the institute Neurobiology workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact School visit to the institute. neurobiology workshop.Discussed careers in science and going to University.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Science Insights Work Experience Programme. Hosted 2 female school pupils for 'researcher shadowing' in my laboratory. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Science Insights Work Experience Programme (Roslin Institute). Hosted 2 female school pupils for 'researcher shadowing' in my laboratory.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Seminar: "Attenuating the stress response: behavioural and neuroendocrine adaptations of free-living birds breeding in the Arctic." Animal Welfare Research Day. SRUC, UK. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Seminar: "Attenuating the stress response: behavioural and neuroendocrine adaptations of free-living birds breeding in the Arctic." Animal Welfare Research Day. SRUC, UK.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Seminar: "Environmental cues regulating reproduction in birds" Technical workshop: Approaches to investigating circannual rhythms in vertebrates. The University of Glasgow, UK. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Seminar: "Environmental cues regulating reproduction in birds" Technical workshop: Approaches to investigating circannual rhythms in vertebrates. The University of Glasgow, UK.
Ran training workshop.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
 
Description Seminar: "Neuroendocrine and environmental interactions underlying reproductive behaviour in birds" The University of Exeter, UK. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Seminar: "Neuroendocrine and environmental interactions underlying reproductive behaviour in birds" The University of Exeter, UK.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Seminar: "The Neurobiology of Nest Building and Parental Care" Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Seminar: "The Neurobiology of Nest Building and Parental Care" Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan. Future collaboration
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Seminar: "The neuroendocrine control of social behaviour: Insights on aggression from studies in rodents and birds" Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Seminar: "The neuroendocrine control of social behaviour: Insights on aggression from studies in rodents and birds" Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan. Japan partnering award
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
 
Description Seminar: "The neuroendocrine control of social behaviour: Insights on aggression" University of Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Seminar: "The neuroendocrine control of social behaviour: Insights on aggression" University of Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
 
Description Sharing the Arctic's newest discoveries Arctic Science Blog 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Featured in Frontier Scientists: Stressed out? Every year migratory birds battle stress, and win. University of Alaska Fairbanks, Sharing the Arctic's newest discoveries Arctic Science Blog. http://frontierscientists.com/2014/05/migratory-birds-battle-stress-and-win/
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Vet Student Anatomy Club Guest speaker. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact Highlight research and encourage women in STEM to vet students
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Vet Student Reproduction Society Guest speaker 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact highlight reproductive biology research and encourage vet students to consider a career in research. Encourage women in STEM
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017