PhD studentship: Laterality and parental care in fish

**Applications now closed**

I am currently advertising a funded PhD studentship on laterality and parental care in fish, to start 25 September 2017.

The project is part of a research cluster of 1 postdoctoral researcher (to be advertised soon) and two PhD students: this one, and one on the evolution of parents feeding offspring, plus Isabella Capellini, James Gilbert and I. The student will also be a member of my wider research group, and the Ecology and Environment group.

Long thought to be unique to humans, lateralisation (or handedness) is now recognised as widespread in vertebrates. Animals show lateralisation in a wide range of organs and behaviours, and it is hypothesised that cerebral lateralisation can enhance cognitive abilities, particularly through the ability to attend to multiple tasks at one time (multitasking). For fish, this might be the ability to simultaneously forage and remain vigilant for predators, for example. In this project, we will investigate the potential link between lateralisation, parental care and other ecological factors in fish. More specifically, the project seeks to address the following questions: 1) Within and across species, are individuals that provide care more likely to be lateralised than individuals that do not? 2) How does laterality link to the ability to multitask in caring and non-caring situations? 3) How do environmental conditions shape laterality, and how does this link to the ability to multitask? Experimental work on the behaviour of fish in the University’s aquarium facilities will be a key component of this project.

The project is funded by the University of Hull. Full-time UK/EU PhD Scholarships will include fees at the ‘home/EU’ student rate and maintenance (£14,121 in 2016/17) for three years, depending on satisfactory progress.

Apply by clicking the link in the FindAPhD advert, deadline is 13 March 2017

800px-anemone_fish_protecting_its_spawn

Anemone fish protecting its spawn ©Silke Baron prilfish/flickr/CC-BY-2.0 

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