Speakers | - CCMAR -


Felicity Huntingford

Felicity completed her degree in General Zoology in 1970 and her PhD in Animal Behavior in 1973, both at Oxford University. In 1974 she started teaching at the Department of Zoology at the University of Glasgow, where she remained until she retired in 2011. She currently holds an honorary position at the Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine. She received several honors, including grants from the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the Academia Europaea, Niko Tinbergen Lecturer of the Association for the Study of Behavior (2002) and ASAB Medal (2006), PhD Honoris Causa at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (2008), Jack Jones Lecture of the Fisheries Society of the British Isles (2012) and FSBI Beverton Medal (2013), 2016 Buckland Professor of Fisheries and Wood-Gush Memorial lecturer for the Society for Applied Ethology in 2019. She has extraordinary knowledge and expertise in the natural sciences, having carried out teaching, training and research on a number of topics, including: behavior; endocrinology; respiratory physiology; life history biology; ecology; evolution; fish biology and animal welfare. This broad interest is reflected in the textbooks she wrote: Animal Behavior (1984), Animal Conflict (1987) and Aquaculture & Behavior (2012). She has over 45 years of research experience on fish behavior, in the laboratory, in the field, and in aquaculture systems. Her research has been supported by numerous funding agencies, including BBSRC, EC, and NERC, and has resulted in more than 225 scientific articles, 2 complete monographs, and 3 edited books.

Rita Covas

Rita is a behavioural ecologist and evolutionary biologist with a strong interest in the evolution and consequences of sociality and a passion for fieldwork. She uses birds as study models and strongly believes in the importance of long-term data to address questions about evolution in the wild. Rita has been working on cooperation using the sociable weaver as a study model since her PhD (2002). After some years studying patterns of adaptation in island birds, Rita returned to South Africa in 2008 to relaunch the Sociable Weaver project, together with longterm collaborator Claire Doutrelant. The project uses these weavers to study the evolution and consequences of sociality and cooperation and the factors that influence the balance between cooperation and conflict. In 2016, Rita became also the coordinator of another study on a cooperative bird, the large and exceptionally long-lived Southern-Ground Hornbill (at the APNR, Hoedspruit, South Africa). The long-term data sets provided by both projects are also used to study how long-term population dynamics is influenced by environmental variation and how this interacts with social behaviour. In addition, Rita has maintained a keen interest in insularity and how species adapt to the island environment, especially on what concerns behavioural adaptations, and this research is currently pursued through comparative studies. Rita is a Principal Researcher at CIBIO, University of Porto (Portugal) and Honorary Research Associate at the FitzPatrick Institute, University of Cape Town (South Africa).