ZSL recognition of Sam Auty

It is a great pleasure to say that Sam Auty has been awarded a Certificate of Commendation by the Zoological Society of London as part of the Charles Darwin Award & Marsh Prize for the best undergraduate thesis across the UK. Well done Sam! A wonderful achievement. And thanks to Emily and the rest of the lab for providing such a supportive environment for him.

Other new paper news

In other new paper news, Liam and Dave’s comments on the commentaries on our meta-analysis on mate choice experimental paradigms has been accepted in Behavioral Ecology. Hopefully the target review and commentaries will be out in print shortly – they are currently available online-early here. Ginny, Liam and Dave are also publishing a Quick Guide to Mating Failure in Current Biology. We will let you know when that is out too.

Becky’s latest paper

Well done to Becky. Her epic, six-experiment study of the costs and benefits of multiple mating in Nasonia vitripennis – a “mostly monadrous” wasp – has been accepted in Evolution. We will let you know when the print version appears. Nice one.

Paper of the Week: Social learning strategies – a mechanistic critique

This week’s Paper of the Week is Heyes & Pearce (2015) Not-so-social learning strategies. Proc Roy Soc B 282: 20141709.

In this paper, Heyes and Pearce review social learning strategies (SLSs) in terms of their possible mechanistic underpinnings, in particular whether or not domain-general processes (i.e. aspects of associative learning at work in asocial learning) can explain SLSs, without the need for more complex, domain-specific mechanisms. A thought-provoking read. The call for greater mechanistic rigour is timely, especially if we are beginning to make untested assumptions about the complexity of underlying behavioural mechanisms.