Animals don't forage randomly and have to make decisions continuously about nutrients and toxins in their food. How do they make decisions when the environment is so variable and when they also have to consider predators and social interactions?
Animals have to be able to recognize impending toxicosis and change their feeding behaviour promptly. To do so they need to monitor the consequences of the meal continuously and then to be able to translate this feedback into changes in feeding behaviour. Physiology and behaviour come together in every mouthful and we are interested in the nature and the consequences of feedback signals that animals use and how these shape animal feeding.
Recent papers from this work
- Edwards M, Wallis IR, Foley WJ (2010) Acid loads induced by the detoxification of plant secondary metabolites do not limit feeding by common brushtail possums (Trichosurus vulpecula) Journal of Comparative Physiology B 180:247–257 (PDF, 344 KB)
- Marsh KJ, Wallis, IR, Foley, WJ (2007) Behavioural contributions to the regulated intake of plant secondary metabolites in koalas. Oecologia 154:283-290 (PDF, 332 KB)
- Marsh KJ, Wallis IR, McLean S, Sorensen JS, Foley WJ (2006) Conflicting demands on detoxification pathways influence how common brushtail possums choose their diets. Ecology 87:2103-2112
- Marsh KJ, Wallis IR, Foley WJ (2005) Detoxification rates constrain feeding in common brushtail possums (Trichosurus vulpecula). Ecology 86:2946-2954
- Marsh KJ, Wallis IR, Andrew RL, Foley WJ (2006) The detoxification limitation hypothesis: Where did it come from and where is it going? Journal of Chemical Ecology 32: 1247-1266 (PDF, 388 KB).