Cambridge Department of Psychology
I study the causes and consequences of individual differences in cognition and behaviour in wild birds. I employ a mixture of field-based research using advanced automated data collection devices, cognitive assays in captivity and molecular techniques. My current research aims are to identify causal directions of host-microbiome relationships in wild animals, provide novel insight into environmental determinants of individual differences in microbiome, identify mechanisms underlying microbiome-mediated cognition, and examine trade-offs and fitness consequences associated with host-microbiome interactions. To date I have used 16S rRNA sequencing and bioinformatics with QIIME 2 to categorise the wild gut microbiome in birds.
Inferring causality will be key to understanding the microbiome’s role in driving behavioural and cognitive variation. I am interested in metagenomic and metabolomic approaches as a means to look for molecular markers that indicate microbiome-mediated neurological processes
Davidson, GL, Somers, SE, Wiley, N, Johnson, CN, Reichert, MS, Ross, RP, Stanton, C, Quinn JL. A time-lagged association between the gut microbiome, nestling growth and nestling survival in wild great tits. In Review. Preprint doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.09.30.320804
Davidson, GL, Wiley, N, Cooke, AC, Johnson, CN, Fouhy, F, Reichert, MS, de la Hera, I, Crane, JMS, Kulahci, IG, Ross PR, Stanton, C, Quinn, JL Diet induces parallel changes to the gut microbiota and problem solving performance in a wild bird. Scientific Reports. In press.
Davidson, GL, Raulo, A, Knowles, SCL (2020) Identifying microbiome-mediated behaviour in wild vertebrates. Trends in Ecology and Evolution. 35:11, 972-980. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2020.06.014
Michael S. Reichert, MS, Crofts, SJ, Davidson, GL, Firth, JA, Kulahci, IG, Quinn ,JL (2020) Multiple factors affect discrimination learning performance, but not between-individual variation, in wild mixed-species flocks of birds. Royal Society Open Science. 7:192107
Davidson, GL, Cooke, AC, Johnson, CN, Quinn, JL. (2018) The microbiome as a driver of individual differences in cognition and functional behaviour. Phil Trans R Soc B. 373: 20170286.
|Other field of expertise||
Animal behaviour and cognition