E&E PhD Exit Webinar: Using information from others: social learning and predator avoidance eavesdropping

Using information adaptively is crucial to survival. Accordingly, animals have evolved sensory and cognitive systems for detecting and processing information, including from other individuals. However, using information from others poses special challenges. First, individuals who generate information may benefit or suffer from information use, and so can be selected to help or hinder receivers. Second, receivers must account for imperfect information, due to errors in the production, transmission, or reception of signals. Third, they must also assess the relevance of information, especially if originating from other species. In my PhD I have used mathematical models to explore these challenges. In this talk I will focus on adaptations to facilitate or hinder social learning, selection for eavesdropping on heterospecific alarm calls, and the issue of nature-versus-nurture.