Image of Professor Andy Radford

Professor Andrew Radford

Professor of Behavioural Ecology

Tel: +44 117 394 1197
Email: andy.radford at

Welcome | Research Overview | Funding Sources| Recent News| Opportunities | Selected Recent Publications


Image of Prof. Andy Radford

Hello! I am a behavioural biologist based at the School of Biological Sciences, University of Bristol.

I hope you enjoy browsing the website, finding out about the exciting questions we ask and study systems we work on.

If you would like to know more or would like the opportunity to work with us, don’t hesitate to get in touch.


Close up of pied babbler, Turdoides bicolor Close up of dwarf mongoose, Helogale parvula

One main theme of our research concerns the behaviour and vocalisations of social animals. Using a combination of observational data, sound recordings and a variety of experimental manipulations, we work on several different bird, mammal, fish and invertebrate study systems in captivity and around the world (South Africa, Australia, Panama, Trinidad), including the Dwarf Mongoose Research Project which we established in 2011. We are also now starting to work with robots!

Close up of shore crab, Carcinus maenas Close up of social fish!

The second major theme of our research concerns the potential impact of anthropogenic noise. Using a combination of laboratory and field experiments (in Scotland, France, French Polynesia and Australia), we are considering how this global pollutant affects the behaviour, physiology and development of a variety of fish and invertebrate species.


We are extremely grateful to the following for funding:

Funding sources


  • New paper accepted in Proceedings of the Royal Society, Series B: Schindler, S. & Radford, A.N. Factors influencing within-group conflict over defence against conspecific outsiders seeking breeding positions.
  • New paper accepted in Animal Behaviour: Igic, B., Ratnayake, C.P. Radford, A.N. & Magrath, R.D. Eavesdropping magpies respond to the number of heterospecifics giving alarm calls but not the number of species calling.
  • Congratulations to Josh Arbon who has successfully defended his Masters by Research thesis entitled ‘Context-dependent contributions to cooperative behaviours', with no corrections. Joah Madden (University of Exeter) and Sinead English (Bristol) kindly acted as examiners.
  • New paper published: Harding, H.R., Gordon, T.A.C., Hsuan, R.E., Mackaness, A.C.E., Radford, A.N. & Simpson, S.D. Fish in habitats with higher motorboat disturbance show reduced sensitivity to motorboat noise. Biology Letters 14: 20180441.
  • Congratulations to Will Corbett who has submitted his Masters by Research thesis entitled ‘The behavioural and physiological effects of pile-driving noise on marine species'. Mark Briffa (University of Plymouth) and Ceri Lewis (University of Exeter) have kindly agreed to act as examiners.
  • Welcome to Isla Davidson who has started a PhD investigating multimodal communication in a changing world.
  • Welcome to Emily Richmond who has started a Masters by Research investigating the impacts of anthropogenic noise on out-group conflict.
  • Congratulations to Patrick Kennedy who has submitted his PhD thesis entitled ‘Uncertainty and the evolution of altruism: Theory and fieldwork in the paper wasps of Central and South America'. Jeremy Field (University of Exeter) and Christos Ioannou (Bristol) have kindly agreed to act as examiners.
  • Congratulations to Isla Davidson who has submitted her Masters by Research thesis entitled 'Hearing Nemo: alarm calling behaviour in a coral reef fish'. Isabelle Côté (Simon Fraser University) and Tim Fawcett (Exeter) have kindly agreed to act as examiners.
  • Welcome to Emily Grout who has started a Masters by Research investigating adult–pup relationships in dwarf mongooses.
  • New paper published: Potvin, D.A., Ratnayake, C.P., Radford, A.N. & Magrath, R.D. (2018) Birds learn socially to recognize heterospecific alarm calls by acoustic association. Current Biology 28: 2632–2637.
  • Ines Goncalves and Susanne Schindler gave talks at the recent ASAB Interdisciplinary Workshop on ‘Broader perspectives on animal contests’.
  • Congratulations to Tim Gordon who has won the Society of Experimental Biology (SEB) 2018 Young Scientist Award (Animal-Cell section).
  • New paper published: Kern, J.M. & Radford, A.N. Experimental evidence for delayed contingent cooperation among wild dwarf mongooses. PNAS 115: 6255–6250.
  • Tim Gordon, Harry Harding, Kieran McCloskey, Andy Radford, Steve Simpson and Emma Weschke all presented work at the excellent Society of Experimental Biology (SEB) Conference in Florence.
  • Congratulations to Emma Eastcott who has successfully defended her Masters by Research thesis – Intrapopulation variation in vigilance responses to anthropogenic noise in dwarf mongooses (Helogale parvula). Thanks to Dr Graeme Shannon (Bangor University) and Prof. Innes Cuthill for acting as examiners.
  • Andy gave a Pint of Science talk on ‘How animals use and respond to sounds’.
  • New paper published: Dawson Pell, F.S.E., Potvin, D.A., Ratnayake, C.P., Fernández-Juricic, E., Magrath, R.D. & Radford, A.N. (2018) Birds orient their heads appropriately in response to functionally referential alarm calls of heterospecifics. Animal Behavour 140: 109–118.
  • Welcome to Katy Chapman who has started a Masters by Research, based in Bristol with Andy and Steve, to work on how anthropogenic noise affects fish.
  • New paper published (with lots of media interest): Gordon, T.A.C., Harding, H., Wong, K., Merchant, N., Meekan, M.G., McCormick, M., Radford, A.N. & Simpson, S.D. (2018) Habitat degradation negatively affects auditory settlement behaviour of coral reef fishes. PNAS 115:5193–5198.
  • Steve Simpson has made a beautiful BBC Earth Unplugged film about our underwater sound work, including information on both natural sounds and impacts of anthropogenic noise work.
  • Congratulations to Isla Davidson on being awarded a National Geographic grant to investigate ‘Manta musicians: acoustic communication in manta rays’ in the Maldives.
  • Tim Gordon has given an exceptional speech at the Economist World Ocean Summit in Cancun.
  • Welcome to Laura Richardson who is working as a PDRA on the Ecocean-sponsored project ‘Scientific dissemination of ecosystem restoration projects’ with Steve and Andy.
  • New paper published: Kennedy, P., Higginson, A.D., Radford, A.N. & Sumner, S. (2018) Altruism in a volatile world. Nature 555: 359–362.
  • Congratulations to Isla Davidson on being awarded a NERC GW4+ DTP PhD Studentship to study ‘Multimodal communication in a changing world’ at the University of Bristol.
  • Steve and Andy have been awarded £80k to work with a French eco-restoration company (Ecocean) on a project entitled 'Scientific dissemination of ecosystem restoration projects’.
  • Congratulations to Josh Arbon on being awarded a BBSRC DTP PhD Studentship to work with Dr Alex Thornton at the University of Exeter.
  • Congratulations to Matthew Lavelle who has successfully defended his Masters by Reseach thesis – The effects of light and noise pollution on tree leaf fall and cricket behaviour. Thanks to Dr Mark Steer (University of the West of England) and Prof. Nick Roberts for acting as examiners.
  • Tim Gordon has provided an eloquent contribution to a Science Café by BBC Radio Wales on underwater sound; he can be heard from 22:00 onwards in the recording.
  • Andy has presented a week’s worth of Radio 4’s Tweet of the Day. Listen to the podcast.
  • New paper published online early in Behavioral Ecology: Christensen, C. & Radford, A.N. Dear enemies or nasty neighbours? Causes and consequences of variation in the responses of group-living species to territorial intrusions.
  • Andy has given a keynote talk on 'Consequences of out-group conflict' at the excellent CBEN Conference 2017 on Evolution and Cooperation held in Leiden. Thanks to the organisers for the invite and for the stimulating interdisciplinary programme.
  • Congratulations to Robin Southon who has successfully defended his PhD thesis – The adaptive value of males in simple eusocial insect societies. Thanks to Dr Elli Leadbeater (Royal Holloway, University of London) and Prof. Innes Cuthill for acting as examiners.
  • New paper published with lots of media attention: Kern, J.M. & Radford, A.N. (2017) Reduced social-information provision by immigrants and use by residents following dispersal. Current Biology 27: R1266–R1267.


    If you are interested in potential PhD, Masters or intern opportunities, then please feel free to email through a cover letter and cv. Specific projects will be advertised here when available; self-funded applicants welcome to apply any time.

    We are always keen to host fellows (those funded by Marie Curie, NERC and the Swiss National Science Foundation have recently finished their fellowships with us) or to discuss new collaborative ideas, so don’t hesitate to get in touch.

    We often take on research assistants to help with our work, including at various fieldsites and in the Bristol-based aquarium facility; specific positions will be advertised here.


    Full list of publications with links to pdf files.