|Post:||Reader in Behavioural Ecology (Psychology)|
|Location:||Pevensey 1 2b09|
|International:||+44 1273 678610|
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BSc (1st Class Hons), Edinburgh 1984; PhD, Cambridge 1988.
Appointed lecturer in 1993, promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2001 & Reader in 2004. Academic Editor PLoS ONE and Bioacoustics; previous Consulting Editor for Animal Behaviour and Council Member for the Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour.
Awarded PNAS Cozzarelli Prize 2009.
Research Fellow, Newnham College Cambridge, 1990-1993.
Research Associate, University of Minnesota, 1989.
My main research has involved using acoustic analysis and playback experiments to address questions about vocal communication and cognitive abilities in mammals. With my collaborators, postdocs and DPhil students in the Mammal Vocal Communication and Cognition Research Group, I am currently involved in the following projects:
1) Age and experience as determinants of acquired knowledge in African elephants: we have demonstrated that the possession of enhanced discriminatory abilities by the oldest individual in a group of advanced social mammals can influence the social and ecological knowledge of the group as a whole and are now completing a comprehensive investigation of the role of age and experience in acquired knowledge and decision-making (funded by the Leverhulme Trust).
2) Social intelligence in domestic horses, we are developing novel paradigms to examine cross-modal recognition and attribution of attention in this species and were recently awarded the Cozzarelli Prize for best PNAS paper in Behavioral and Social Sciences in 2008 for our work on cross-modal individual recognition.
3) Inter-specific communication: we are expanding research on domestic/companion animals (including domestic cats and dogs as well as horses) as these species can provide useful models both for getting at mammal cognitive abilities and, by virtue of their interactions with humans, exploring interspecific communication. Recent topics include how domestic cats use purring to manipulate their human owners.
4) Acoustic coding in mammal vocalisations: we are particularly interested in elucidating the importance in animal communication of acoustic parameters known to be importance in human speech; study species include red deer, elephants, domestic dogs and cats.
5) The evolution of vocal repertoires: we have conducted comparative analyses to investigate the effects of evolutionary increases in group size on the evolution of vocal repertoires in non-human primates.
MOST RECENT PUBLICATIONS
Proops, L. & McComb, K. (2012) Cross-modal individual recognition in domestic horses (Equus caballus) extends to familiar humans. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, London 279, 3131-3138.
McComb K., Shannon G., Durant S.M., Sayialel K., Slotow R., Poole J., and Moss C. (2011) Leadership in elephants: the adaptive value of age. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, London 278,3270-3276; doi:10.1098/rspb.2011.0168.
Taylor A. M., Reby D. & McComb K. (2011) Cross modal perception of body size in domestic dogs (Canis familiaris). PLoS ONE 6, e17069.
Webster, H., McNutt, J. W. & McComb, K. (2011). African wild dogs as a fugitive species: playback experiments investigate how wild dogs respond to their major competitors. Ethology 117, 1–10.
Tuesdays 11am - 1pm during term-time
Proops, Leanne and McComb, Karen (2012) Cross-modal individual recognition in domestic horses (equus caballus) extends to familiar humans. Proceedings B: Biological sciences, 279 (1741). pp. 3131-3138. ISSN 1471-2954
McComb, Karen, Shannon, Graeme, Durant, Sarah M, Sayialel, Katito, Slotow, Rob, Poole, Joyce and Moss, Cynthia (2011) Leadership in elephants: the adaptive value of age. Proceedings B: Biological Sciences, 278. pp. 3270-3276.
Taylor, Anna M, Reby, David and McComb, Karen (2010) Why do large dogs sound more aggressive to human listeners: Acoustic bases of motivational misattributions. Ethology, 116 (12). pp. 1155-1162. ISSN 0179-1613
Reby, David, Charlton, Benjamin D, Locatelli, Yann and McComb, Karen (2010) Oestrous red deer hinds prefer male roars with higher fundamental frequencies. Proceedings B: Biological Sciences, 277 (1695). pp. 2747-2753. ISSN 0962-8452
Proops, L and McComb, K (2010) Attributing attention: the use of human-given cues by domestic horses (Equus caballus). Animal Cognition, 13. pp. 197-205.
Webster, Hugh, McNutt, John W and McComb, Karen (2010) Eavesdropping and risk assessment between lions, spotted hyenas and African Wild Dogs. Ethology, 116 (3). pp. 233-239. ISSN 0179-1613
Proops, Leanne, Walton, Meggen and McComb, Karen (2010) The use of human-given cues by domestic horses (Equus caballus) during an object choice task. Animal Behaviour, 79. pp. 1205-1209.
McComb, Karen, Taylor, Anna, Wilson, Christian and Charlton, Benjamin D (2009) Manipulation by domestic cats: the cry embedded within the purr. Current Biology, 19 (13). R507-R508. ISSN 0960-9822
Proops, Leanne, McComb, Karen and Reby, David (2009) Cross-modal individual recognition in domestic horses(Equus caballus). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) ISSN 1091-6490, 106 (3). pp. 947-951. ISSN 1091-6490
McComb, Karen, Taylor, Anna M, Wilson, Christian and Charlton, Benjamin D (2009) The cry embedded within the purr. Current Biology, 19 (13). R507-R508. ISSN 0960-9822
Charlton, Benjamin D, McComb, Karen and Reby, David (2008) Free-ranging red deer hinds show greater attentiveness to roars with formant frequencies typical of young males. Ethology, 114 (10). pp. 1023-1031. ISSN 0179-1613
Charlton, Benjamin D., Reby, David and McComb, Karen (2008) Effect of combined source (F0) and filter (formant) variation on red deer hind responses to male roars. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 123 (5). pp. 2936-2943. ISSN 0001-4966
Roberts, Samuel G B, McComb, Karen and Ruffman, Ted (2008) An experimental investigation of referential looking in free-ranging barbary macaques (Macaca Sylvanus). Journal of Comparative Psychology, 122 (1). pp. 94-99. ISSN 0735-7036
McComb, Karen (2007) Q&A. Current Biology, 17 (20). R864-866. ISSN 0960-9822
Charlton, Benjamin D, Reby, David and McComb, Karen (2007) Female red deer prefer the roars of larger males. Biology Letters, 3. pp. 382-385. ISSN 1744-9561
McComb, Karen, Baker, Lucy and Moss, Cynthia (2006) African elephants show high levels of interest in the skulls and ivory of their own species. Biology Letters, 2 (1). pp. 26-28. ISSN 1744-9561
Semple, S and McComb, Karen (2006) The function of female copulation calls in the genus Macaca: insights from the Barbary macaque. In: The Barbary macaque: biology, management and conservation (J.K. Hodges and J. Cortes, eds). Nottingham University Press, 81-93.. ISBN 1904761313
McComb, Karen and Semple, Stuart (2005) Co-evolution of vocal communication and sociality in primates. Biology Letters, 1 (4). pp. 381-385. ISSN 1744-9561
Reby, David, McComb, Karen, Cargnelutti, Bruno, Darwin, Chris, Fitch, W Tecumseh and Clutton-Brock, Tim (2005) Red deer stags use formants as assessment cues during intra-sexual agonistic interactions. Proceedings B: Biological Sciences, 272 (1566). pp. 941-947. ISSN 1471-2954
McComb, Karen and Reby, David (2005) Vocal communication networks in large terrestrial mammals. In: Animal communication networks. Cambridge University Press, pp. 372-389. ISBN 9780521823616
McComb, Karen, Reby, David, Baker, Lucy, Moss, Cynthia and Sayialel, Soila (2003) Long-distance communication of acoustic cues to social identity in African elephants. Animal Behaviour, 65 (2). pp. 317-329. ISSN 0003-3472
Reby, David and McComb, Karen (2003) Vocal communication and reproduction in deer. Advances in the Study of Behavior, 33. 231-264.. ISSN 0065-3454
Semple, Stuart, McComb, Karen, Alberts, Susan and Altmann, Jeanne (2002) Information content of female copulation calls in yellow baboons. American Journal of Primatology, 56. pp. 43-56. ISSN 0275-2565
McComb, Karen, Moss, Cynthia and Durant, Sarah M (2001) Elephant hunting and conservation. Science, 293. pp. 2203-2204. ISSN 0036-8075
Grinnell, Jon and McComb, Karen (2001) Roaring and social communication in African lions: the limitations imposed by listeners. Animal Behaviour, 62. pp. 93-98. ISSN 0003-3472
McComb, Karen, Moss, Cynthia, Durant, Sarah M, Baker, Lucy and Sayialel, Soila (2001) Matriarchs act as repositories of social knowledge in African elephants. Science, 292. pp. 491-494. ISSN 0036-8075
Semple, S and McComb, K (2000) Perception of female reproductive state from vocal cues in a mammal species. Proceedings B: Biological Sciences, 267 (1444). pp. 707-712. ISSN 1471-2954
McComb, Karen, Moss, Cynthia, Sayialel, Soila and Baker, Lucy (2000) Unusually extensive networks of vocal recognition in African Elephants. Animal Behaviour, 59 (6). pp. 1103-1109. ISSN 00033472