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Dr Alessandro Macario

Dr Alessandro Macario


 Washington Singer 


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


My research interests lie in the field of Behavioural Ecology. I study how variation in the social and physical environment shapes behavioural differences at the individual- and group- level, which in turn have important evolutionary consequences. My work is mainly lab-based and uses guppy (Poecilia reticulata) as a model system.

During my PhD, I tested the hypothesis that females alter their sexual behaviours in response to variation in the distribution of male phenotypes experienced during development. I also explored whether learned preferences acquired in a foraging context while growing could be transferred into a mating context. The study showed the key role played by the social environment experienced during ontogeny in the expression of female mate preferences in a species that lack parental care.

Currently, my research centres on the study of social network structure and its adaptive value. Specifically, I am analyzing how the dynamic structure of established social networks responds to different levels of social disruption and how such disruption affects individual fitness.


PhD in Animal Behaviour, University of Exeter, UK
MSc, Behavioural Biology, Paris 13 University, France
BSc, Biology and Biochemistry, Louis Pasteur University, Strasbourg, France

Research group links

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Teaching responsibilities

  • PSY1105 - Introduction to behaviour and evolution
  • PSY2214 - Observations and experiments in animal behaviour
  • PSY2217 - Wild behaviour
  • PSY3423 - The evolution of social behaviour and social organization
  • PSYM213 - Current research issues in animal behaviour

 Student projects

  • PSY3401 - Research project
  • PSYM210 - Research apprenticeship



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