Loading content
 William O'Hearn

William O'Hearn

Masters Student in Psychology


 Washington Singer Crab lab


Washington Singer Laboratories, University of Exeter, Perry Road, Prince of Wales Road, Exeter, EX4 4QG, UK


My broad interests are in the adaptive benefits of cooperation and the evolutionary root of sociality in the animal kingdom. A broad range of taxa including fish, birds, insects, and mammals live in social groups and engage in complex social behavior. They live in these groups despite the many costs of group living such as increased competition for food, territory, and mates. I am interested in why different social structures are adaptive and how the individuals that make up these groups use behavioral strategies to navigate their social environments. 

My current research explores the types of reciprocal cooperative strategies used by free living rhesus macaques on Cayo Santiago, Puerto Rico. Using an experimental design which simulates conflicts involving specific group mates, we investigate how recent social interactions affect the allocation of social attention in adult female rhesus macaques. Do these females use a direct reciprocity strategy, where they help those who have helped them? Or do they use a generalized reciprocal strategy, helping only after they are helped themselves?

Broad research specialisms

Behavioral Ecology, Cooperation, Animal Behavior, Social Behavior


2011-2015 BSC Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Connecticut



Key publications | Publications by category | Publications by year

Publications by category

Publications by year


O'Hearn W (2019). Direct and generalized reciprocity in the cooperative exchanges of free living Rhesus macaques on Cayo Santiago.  Abstract.  Full text.

William_OHearn Details from cache as at 2020-08-15 18:13:36

Refresh publications


Supervision / Group

Back | Edit Profile