Dr. Patrick Thomas Walsh
Location: Room 407, Ashworth Laboratories 2
Principals of Ecology (third year)
A focus of my work is attempting to determine whether there is a cognitive basis for the nest building behaviour in birds. Given the surprising lack of information on nest building behaviour in birds, compared with other features of bird behaviour (e.g. migration and song), there is a great need to collect some data on the basic behavioural repertoires used by birds to construct nests of varying degrees of complexity. From these data it will be possible to obtain information on variation in construction behaviour within and between individuals, and begin to provide some insight into the cognitive abilities required by avian nest builders.
My interests also extend into investigations of why animals do what they do, particularly in relation to animals' responses to ecological conditions. I have worked extensively on amphibian model systems to determine which factors play a role in the timing and duration of metamorphosis, including potential responses of British amphibians to a changing climate.
Walsh, P.T. (2010). Anuran life history plasticity: A review of variable practice in determining the end-point of larval development. Amphibia-Reptilia 31: 157-167
Walsh, P.T., Hansell, M., Borello, W.D. & Healy, S.D. (2010). Repeatability of nest morphology in African weaverbirds. Biol. Letters. 6: 149-151
Downie, J.R., Ramnarine, I., Sams, K. & Walsh, P.T. (2009). The paradoxical frog Pseudis paradoxa: larval habitat, growth and metamorphosis. Herpetol. J. 19: 11-19
Downie, J.R., Sams, K. & Walsh, P.T. (2009). The paradoxical frog Pseudis paradoxa: larval anatomical characteristics, including gonadal maturation. Herpetol. J. 19: 1-10
Walsh, P.T., Downie, J.R. & Monaghan, P. (2008). Larval over-wintering: plasticity in the timing of life history events in the common frog. J. Zool. 276: 394-401
Walsh, P.T., Downie, J.R. & Monaghan, P. (2008). Predation-induced plasticity in metamorphic duration in Xenopus laevis. Funct. Ecol. 22: 699-705
Downie, J.R., Walsh, P.T. & Langhorne, C. (2008). Asymmetric larval competition between two species of neotropical foam-nesting frogs: Leptodactylus fuscus and Engystomops pustulosus. J. Nat. Hist. 42: 2151-2159
Walsh, P.T., Downie, J.R. & Monaghan, P. (2008). Temperature mediated morphology changes during metamorphosis in the African clawed frog. J. Therm. Biol. 33: 244-249
Healy, S., Walsh, P. & Hansell, M. (2008). Nest Building in birds. Curr. Biol. 18: R271-R273
Walsh, P.T., Downie, J.R. & Monaghan, P. (2008). Plasticity of the duration of metamorphosis in the African clawed toad. J. Zool. 274: 143-149.
This article was published on Feb 8, 2012