Dr Jenny York

York J

College Research Associate
Research interestsBehavioural flexibility allows animals to be responsive to their environment and to exert control over their social and physical worlds. My research uses multiple approaches to examine both how behavioural flexibility relates to underlying physiology, and to its adaptive function. From behavioural adaptations such as male advertisement song, to manipulative cuckoo calls and elaborate animal architecture, the questions I investigate are inspired by being a curious naturalist at heart. I am currently especially interested in the role that behavioural flexibility, and phenotypic plasticity more broadly, might play in the origins and maintenance of biodiversity. I mainly investigate these questions in wild birds including the white-browed sparrow weavers of the Kalahari desert, interactions between brood parasitic common cuckoos and their reed warbler hosts in the lush green Cambridgeshire fens, and most recently, the interactions between Diederik cuckoos and the African weaverbirds.