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Kate Marshall

Kate Marshall

Graduate Student

Room F27
Office Phone: 01223 (3)34430


2004 - 2007: BSc Psychology & Zoology, University of Bristol

2007 - 2008: MSc Animal Behaviour, University of Exeter

2010 - 2011: Research assistant, Dept of Zoology, University of Cambridge

2011 - present: BBSRC-funded PhD student, Dept of Zoology, University of Cambridge

Research Group

Behavioural Ecology Group:
Graduate student

Research Interests

My PhD research investigates the evolution of within-species phenotypic divergence, using island populations of the Aegean wall-lizard (Podarcis erhardii) in Greece as a model system. These lizards exhibit striking colour variation between Greek island populations, but little is known about the evolutionary mechanisms underlying this divergence.

The main aim of my research is to explore whether different P. erhardii populations have evolved locally adapted coloration in different island environments, and whether these local adaptations help them hide from predators (camouflage), attract mates or defend territories (visual signalling), or even both.

As humans have very different visual systems to other animals, a key element of my research is to show how lizard colour patterns might be perceived by the actual ‘receivers’ of these visual signals, namely predators (e.g. birds of prey) and their potential mates and rivals.

Key Publications

Stevens, M., Troscianko, J., Marshall, K.L.A., & Finlay, S. 2013. What is camouflage through distractive markings? A reply to Merilaita et al. 2013. Behavioral Ecology, 24: e1272-e1273.

Stevens, M., Marshall, K.L.A, Troscianko, J., Finlay, S., Burnand, D. & Chadwick, S.L. 2012. Revealed by conspicuousness: distractive markings reduce camouflage. Behavioral Ecology. 24: 213-222.

Stevens, M., Searle, W.T.L., Seymour, J.E., Marshall, K.L.A. & Ruxton, G.D. 2011. Motion dazzle and camouflage as distinct anti-predator defenses. BMC Biology. 9:81.

Stoddard, M.C., Marshall, K.L.A. & Kilner, R.M. 2011. Imperfectly camouflaged avian eggs: artefact or adaptation? Avian Biology Research. 4: 196-213.


Other Publications

Kate Marshall, Clare Blet-Charaudeau, Lisa Leaver & Stephen E. G. Lea. 2008. Pygmy shrews Sorex minutus on Lundy: Preliminary data on distribution and effectiveness of trapping methods. Annual Report of the Lundy Field Society. 58: 86-88.

Claire Blet-Charaudeau, Kate Marshall, Grant Sherman, Lisa Leaver & Stephen E G Lea. 2010. A study of the factors influencing breeding site selection and attendance of Atlantic Puffins Fratercula arctica on Lundy. Journal of the Lundy Field Society. 2: 91-104.