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Dr. Adrian Barnett is a senior lecturer in Zoology, with an interest in animal-plant interactions and predation and conservation.

Research interests

I work mostly on animal-plant interactions and how information on these might be used in field and captive conservation programmes. I’ve worked mostly in the tropics, with a lot of time spent in the Andes of Ecuador and the Amazonian Brazil (especially seasonally-flooded forests). Here I’ve worked on a variety of groups including bats, birds, monkeys, rodents, freshwater dolphins, river turtles, otters and fish, as well as such invertebrate groups as butterflies, beetles and wasps.


I am interested in what determines what animals choose to eat, as well as when and how. This includes how the presence of infesting insects influences such choices, as well as the shape, form and abundance of fruits, and the role of predator avoidance. Other topics I find intriguing include: primate sleeping sites (how they get chosen and the role of predator avoidance in that); pseudopredators (lots of species look like predators, but aren’t – how do potential prey species learn to tell them apart); strategies for high-reward but risky prey (how do animals find the balance when deciding to attack snakes or raid wasp nests); nectar thievery (not all apparent pollinators play by the rules – how do plants adjust flower shapes, numbers and reward profiles in ways that attract valid pollinators, but discourage nectar/pollen thieves). I also have interests in modelling habitat choice and distribution and how this might be altered under various climate change scenarios.


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