Mr Daniel Sankey

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My research focusses on social behaviour and collective behaviour in animal groups. Specifically I ask questions about the evolution of social behaviours or phenotypes, then attempt to answer these by identifying mechanisms which support predictions.

Animal attached bio-logging technology (GPS/ accelerometry/ magnetometry) allows me to utilise my talents for coding and geometry. I use a variety of coding software in my PhD to visualise, transform and analyse data.

I am currently collaborating with a bio-mechanics PhD student to investigate inter-individual differences in energetics and exploratory behaviour, and with a collective behaviourist on broader mechanistic questions in the field.

The major questions in my PhD are what impact the social or environmental context has on the strategies of individual birds in flocks. Whether changes in behaviour at the individual level impact the 3D structure of the flock, and what fitness consequences are at the group level. Currently entitled: Multi-level selective benefits of coordinated group flight, the PhD will use a homing pigeon study system, in which I will vary the social context (e.g. Group phenotypic composition) and the ecological context (e.g. varied risk of predation) to test the response to different conditions.  


For more please see my website:


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