Exploring the evolution of vocal learning through comparative cultural evolution

Project: Research

Project Details


Vocal culture is central to human life, but we know little of how its key underlying trait, vocal learning, evolves. Bird song provides an ideal system to explore this topic, due to its diversity of species, each with its own style of vocal learning. In this project, we will make use of recently developed techniques to measure song and infer learning abilities from simulations of cultural evolution. We will compare vocal learning across one taxon (the buntings) and conduct a citizen science project to explore cultural evolution in garden bird species. Our project will provide insight into the evolution of cultural behaviour, while involving birdwatchers in a cultural evolutionary and evolutionary research project.
Effective start/end date19/09/2218/09/26