Mammalian Behaviour & Evolution
The internal website of MBE
About us
Our main research interests are in animal communication, sexual selection, ecology and conservation, animal welfare, pest control, and the interactions between animal behaviour and disease, particularly in mammalian systems. You will find further details of our main research themes, projects and recent publications under the Research menu above. We have established some unique facilities for studying mammalian behaviour (see Facilities tab above) and welcome enquires from postgraduate or postdoctoral researchers, and for potential collaborations with other groups either within or outside the University of Liverpool.
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Positions available now in MBE
We welcome applications for postgraduate studentships at any time - please contact the relevant supervisor. Postdoctoral researchers are also welcome to contact relevant supervisors to discuss applications for independent postdoctoral fellowships or enquire about forthcoming positions.

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20th Anniversary of MBE

In 2018, we are celebrating the 20th anniversary of the MBE group here at Liverpool - Congratulations to us!
It’s a great opportunity to think about the many wonderful group members we’ve been privileged to have work here and wish you all well wherever you are.
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Conservation Scholars
MBE Conservation Scholars Rhiannon Bolton and Becky Titchard talk about their research on captive breeding success of African painted dogs and scent communication in Eastern black rhinos, with Chester Zoo’s Conservation & Science Team in the zoo’s Act for Wildlife blog:
https://www.actforwildlife.org.uk/conservation-news/researching-social-behaviour-african-painted-dogs/
https://www.actforwildlife.org.uk/conservation-news/communicating-through-smell/

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How can behavioural ecology inform conservation?
Jakob Bro-Jorgensen and Kristine Meise (with Daniel Franks at York) are organising a meeting on: Linking behaviour to populations and communities: how can behavioural ecology inform conservation, at ZSL 22nd-23rd November 2018 (see forthcoming meetings)
https://www.zsl.org/science/whats-on/linking-behaviour-to-populations-and-communities-how-can-behavioural-ecology-inform

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MSGE Symposium 2018
Paula Stockley gave a plenary on postcopulatory sexual selection at the Munster Graduate School of Evolution 7th annual Symposium.


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NC3Rs webinar
Jane Hurst presented a webinar on the evidence base supporting refined mouse handling and practical tips for implementation:
https://www.nc3rs.org.uk/mouse-handling-webinar

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ASAB Easter 2018
Holly Coombes gave a research talk and Callum Duffield presented a poster at the ASAB Easter Meeting, University of Plymouth.

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School outreach
Several members of MBE (Nicola Davidson, Sarah Roberts, Paula Stockley) enjoyed discussing science and careers with local school children at an outreach event organised by Farm Urban in March 2018.

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Animal Welfare Research Network Workshop
Nicola Davidson organised a very successful workshop for early career researchers, held in Liverpool.

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Conservation in the Masai Mara
In September 2017, Jakob Bro-Jorgensen and Kristine Meise organised a workshop to identify research priorities to support the conservation management of the Masai Mara National Reserve and adjoining conservancies: https://mhnproject.weebly.com/blog

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New Group member

Welcome to Katherine Finch who joins us this year for an MRes project on female reproductive suppression in social groups with Paula Stockley.


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Silver Sperm Award
Many congratulations to Paula Stockley who was awarded the ‘Silver Sperm’ for her outstanding contributions to the field of sperm competition at the recent Biology of Spermatozoa meeting held in Derbyshire in September, where Paula also gave a plenary presentation. Richly deserved and a very appropriate trophy.
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New Group member

Welcome to Callum Duffield who joined us in June 2017 for a PhD project on the consequences of developmental, demographic and environmental conditions on competition and cooperation in social mammals, with Paula Stockley and Jane Hurst.
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Non-aversive mouse handling in the news
Our paper showing that mice handled using a non-aversive method (picked up in a tunnel or cupped on the open hand) show much more reliable behaviour in a simple cognitive test was published today (see Gouveia & Hurst 2017 below). This has been featured in a range of news outlets, including the Independent and the BBC World Service.
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John Waters receives Andrew Blake Tribute Award 2017
Many congratulations to John Waters, our NACWO, for winning the Andrew Blake Tribute award for 2017 from the Institute of Animal Technology. This recognises the very significant contribution that John has made to promoting the practical implementation and uptake of non-aversive handling methods for laboratory mice. Further details.
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ASAB medal
Jane Hurst has been awarded the ASAB medal for 2017 in recognition of her outstanding contributions to animal behaviour. The medal is awarded annually by ASAB for contributions to the science of animal behaviour – through teaching, writing, broadcasting, research, or for work on behalf of the association. Jane feels hugely honoured to be given this award.
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Mouse handling video tutorial - live

Check out our new tutorial on how to handling laboratory mice using non-aversive methods, which is now hosted on the NC3Rs website:
http://www.nc3rs.org.uk/news/new-video-tutorial-released-mouse-handling-made-easier
This was put together by Kelly Gouveia, John Waters and Jane Hurst, with funding from NC3Rs and BBSRC. Give it a go and improve the welfare of your mice as well as the quality of your data!
Recent papers from MBE - available online or coming soon
See our publications page for abstracts and pdfs where available
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Roberts SA, Prescott MC, Davidson AJ, McLean L, Beynon RJ & Hurst JL (2018) Individual odour signatures that mice learn are shaped by involatile major urinary proteins (MUPs). BMC Biology 16: 48 (19 pages). doi: 10.1186/s12915-018-0512-9
Link to paper:
https://bmcbiol.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12915-018-0512-9

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Hulme-Beaman, A., Searle, J.B. & Stockley, P. (2018) Sperm competition as an under-appreciated factor in domestication. Biology Letters DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2018.0043
Link to paper:
http://rsbl.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/14/3/20180043
Press release:
https://news.liverpool.ac.uk/2018/03/21/promiscuity-accelerated-animal-domestication/

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Takemori N, Takemori A, Tanaka Y, Endo Y, Hurst JL, Gómez-Baena G, Harman VM and Beynon RJ (2017) MEERCAT: Multiplexed efficient cell free expression of recombinant QconCATs for large scale absolute quantification of proteomes. Molecular & Cellular Proteomics 16: 2169-2183. doi: 10.1074/mcp.RA117.000284
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Loxley GM, Unsworth J, Turton MJ, Jebb A, Lilley KS, Simpson DM, Rigden DJ, Hurst JL & Beynon RJ (2017) Glareosin: a novel sexually dimorphic urinary lipocalin in the bank vole, Myodes glareolus. Open Biology 7: 170135. DOI: 10.1098/rsob.170135
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Hurst JL, Beynon RJ, Armstrong SD, Davidson AJ, Roberts SA, Gomez-Buena G, Smadja CM & Ganem G (2017) Molecular heterogeneity in major urinary proteins of Mus musculus subspecies: potential candidates involved in speciation. Scientific Reports 7: 44992. DOI: 10.1038/srep44992
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Gouveia K & Hurst JL (2017) Optimising reliability of mouse performance in behavioural testing: the major role of non-aversive handling. Scientific Reports 7: 44999. DOI: 10.1038/srep44999
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Unsworth J, Loxley GM, Davidson AJ, Hurst JL, Gómez-Baena G, Mundy NI, Beynon RJ, Zimmermann E & Radespiel U (2017) Characterisation of urinary WFDC12 in small nocturnal basal primates, mouse lemurs (Microcebus spp.). Scientific Reports 7: 42940. DOI: 10.1038/srep42940
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Payne B, Bro-Jørgensen J (2016) Disproportionate climate-induced range loss forecast for the most threatened antelopes. Current Biology 26:1-6
http://www.cell.com/current-biology/fulltext/S0960-9822(16)30178-6
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Bro-Jørgensen J, Mallon D (editors) (2016) Antelope conservation: from diagnosis to action. Conservation Science and Practice Series. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell
http://eu.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-1118409647.html
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Stockley P & Hobson L (2016) Paternal care and litter size coevolution in mammals. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 283: 20160140
http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/283/1829/20160140.abstract

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Ramm, SA & Stockley, P (2016) Integrating Perspectives on Rodent Sperm Competition. Advances in the Study of Behavior, 48. ISSN 978-0-12-802276-4
http://repository.liv.ac.uk/2050879/; DOI: 10.1016/bs.asb.2016.02.003

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Hammond DE, Claydon AJ, Simpson DM, Edward DE, Stockley P, Hurst JL, Beynon RJ (2016) Proteome dynamics: tissue variation in the kinetics of proteostasis in intact animals. Molecular & Cellular Proteomics Feb 1. pii: mcp.M115.053488. [Epub ahead of print]
http://www.mcponline.org/content/early/2016/02/01/mcp.M115.053488.abstract

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Bayram H, Claydon AJ, Brownridge P, Hurst JL, Mileham A, Stockley P, Beynon RJ & Hammond DE. (2016) Cross-species proteomics in analysis of mammalian sperm proteins. Journal of Proteomics 135: 38-50; ISSN 1874-3919. http://repository.liv.ac.uk/2048479/

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