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Department of Zoology


I am a behavioural ecologist with a principal interest in social evolution and reproductive strategies in vertebrates. I use observations and experiments in the field and in the lab to test evolutionary theory. Currently, my focus is on kin discrimination, cooperation and inbreeding in mammals and birds. Other research interests include bioacoustics, molecular genetics and sexual selection.    

2019 – 2021    ERC-funded Postdoctoral Research Associate (University of Cambridge)

2018 – 2019    Teaching Associate (University of Nottingham)

                        Associate Lecturer (Manchester Metropolitan University)

2014 – 2018    NERC Scholarship-funded PhD (University of Sheffield)

2011 – 2013    MSc (Distinction) Animal Behaviour (Manchester Metropolitan University)

2006 – 2009    First Class BSc (Hons) Biology (University of Leeds)

                        NERC-funded Research Assistant (University of Leeds)


Key publications: 

Leedale, A. E., Simeoni, M., Sharp, S. P., Green, J. P., Slate, J. Lachlan, R. F., Robinson, E. J H., & Hatchwell B. J. (2020). Cost, risk, and avoidance of inbreeding in a cooperatively breeding bird. PNAS 201918726.

Leedale, A. E., Lachlan, R. F., Robinson, E. J H., & Hatchwell B. J. (2020). Helping decisions and kin recognition in long-tailed tits: is call similarity used to direct help towards kin? Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B, 375, 20190565.

Leedale, A. E., Li, J. & Hatchwell, B. J. (2020). Kith or Kin? Familiarity as a Cue to Kinship in Social Birds. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, 8, 77.

Leedale, A. E., Sharp, S. P., Simeoni, M., Robinson, E. J. H. & Hatchwell, B. J. (2018). Fine-scale genetic structure and helping decisions in a cooperatively breeding bird. Molecular Ecology27, 1714–1726.

Other publications: 

Leedale, A. E., Collins, S. A., & de Kort, S. R. (2015). Blackcaps (Sylvia atricapilla) increase the whistle part of their song in response to simulated territorial intrusion. Ethology121, 403–409.

Isaac, R. E., Li, C., Leedale, A. E., & Shirras, A. D. (2009). Drosophila male sex peptide inhibits siesta sleep and promotes locomotor activity in the post-mated female. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences277, 65–70.

Research Associate
Dr Amy Leedale

Contact Details

01223 (7)69277 01223 (3)36673