Two post-doctoral positions are available as currently available in our group as part of our ERC-funded project on the consequences of early-life adversity.
The first position (details here) will work on humans, using longitudinal cohort datasets to understand the relationships between childhood adversity, telomere attrition, and behavioural and health outcomes in adulthood. There will also be opportunities to use other research approaches such as Mendelian randomization and meta-analysis. The position would suit someone with interests in human behavioural ecology, epidemiology, ageing biomarkers or child development. Strong quantitative skills are essential.
The second position (details here) will help drive forward our established programme of work on early-life adversity in starlings ( see her). This project will look in particular at the effects of developmental history on foraging, mass regulation and metabolism. We will be developing a new system for automated behaviour recording in naturalistic social groups. Thus, programming skills and an interest in novel technologies in behavioural research will be particularly useful, as well as expertise in behavioural research more generally.
To discuss either position, please contact me.
I am a behavioural biologist with interests in the evolution, development, and psychological underpinnings of behaviour. I have worked on a number of different topics over the years. Much of it has been on humans, and it spans from biology into the social sciences. My current foci are on: the consequences of early-life adversity, which I study in European starlings as well as humans; the impacts of socioeconomic deprivation and the urban environment on behaviour; and encouraging prosocial and discouraging antisocial behaviour . I have also written a number of books aimed at a broader audience.
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- 1990-1993: BA in Psychology and Philosophy, Oxford University.
- 1993-1996: PhD in Biological Anthropology, University College London
- 1996-1999: Junior Research Fellow, Merton College Oxford
- 2001-2004: Lecturer in Biological Psychology,The Open University
- 2004-2011: Lecturer and subsequently Reader, Institute of Neuroscience, Newcastle University.
- 2011-now : Professor of Behavioural Science, Institute of Neuroscience, Newcastle University.
- 2011-now : Co-director of the Centre for Behaviour & Evolution, Newcastle University.
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Where possible, I publish research in Open Access journals (that is, locations where they can be downloaded in full from the web without the need for a subscription). In some cases this is not possible and my research appears in subscription-based journals. In such cases, I will always post a PDF on this website; because of publisher restrictions, this may be a preprint version that does not have the publisher's formatting. It is also my policy to make the raw data from each study available with the publication. For most papers since 2013, you should find the raw data downloadable as an appendix. If there are other data you would like but cannot find, just ask.
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- Nettle, D. (2009). Evolution and Genetics for Psychology. Oxford: Oxford University Press. This is a textbook on evolutionary theory aimed at students or researchers in the behavioural sciences. US Amazon. UK Amazon.
- Nettle, D. (2007). Personality: What Makes You the Way You Are. Oxford: Oxford University Press.US Amazon. UK Amazon.
- Nettle, D. (2005). Happiness: The Science behind your Smile. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Nettle, D. (2001). Strong Imagination: Madness, Creativity and Human Nature. Oxford: Oxford University Press. US Amazon. UK Amazon.
- Nettle, D and Romaine, S. (2000). Vanishing Voices: The Extinction of the World’s Languages. New York: Oxford University Press.US Amazon. UK Amazon.
- Nettle, D. (1999). Linguistic Diversity. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
US Amazon. UK Amazon.
- Nettle, D. (1998). The Fyem Language of Northern Nigeria. Munich: Lincom Europa. Publisher's website.
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The Centre for Behaviour and Evolution at Newcastle University has master of research (MRes) degrees in Animal Behaviour, and in Evolution and Human Behaviour. These are 12-month course starting every October, which provide a thorough research training in evolutionary behavioural science, one more applicable to those interested in studying humans, and the other geared for those who wish to study the behaviour of other species. The courses contain 24-week major research project, which students will complete working with a member of CBE staff. There are opportunities for projects on several different species, and using many different techniques. For more information, see our website or contact Tom Smulders.
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A nice thing about studying behaviour is that the techniques are usually very simple. This means that someone armed with £50, a pencil, a good idea and some determination can often make a useful contribution to the literature. One of the things I am most proud of about my research group is the fact that students at very early stages of their careers have completed projects that have gone on to be published in the best international journals. Here are some examples, along with the papers that resulted:
- O'Hagan, D., Andrews, C. P., Bedford, T., Bateson, M., & Nettle, D. (2015). Early life disadvantage strengthens flight performance trade-offs in European starlings, Sturnus vulgaris. Animal Behaviour 102: 141-148. Open access here.
- Louise Bloxham (MRes Behaviour): Bloxham, L., Bateson, M., Bedford, T., Brilot, B. and Nettle, D. (2014) The memory of hunger: developmental plasticity of dietary selectivity in the European starling, Sturnus vulgaris. Animal Behaviour 91: 33-40. Open access and data here .
- Kyriacos Kareklas (MRes Behaviour): Kareklas, K., D. Nettle and T.V. Smulders (2013). Water-induced finger wrinkles improve handling of wet objects. Biology Letters 9: 20120999. PDF.
- Max Ernest-Jones (BSc Psychology): Ernest-Jones, M., D. Nettle & M. Bateson (2011). Effects of eye images on everyday cooperative behavior: a field experiment. Evolution and Human Behavior 32: 172-8. PDF
- Kate Powell (BSc Applied Biology): Powell, K.L., G. Roberts and D. Nettle (2012). Eye images increase charitable donations: Evidence from an opportunistic field experiment in a supermarket. Ethology 118: 1096-1101.PDF.
- Agathe Colleony (MRes Behaviour): Nettle D., Colleony A., and Cockerill M. (2011). Variation in cooperative behaviour within a single city. PLoS ONE 6(10): e26922. Open access.
- Gayle Watts (BSc Psychology): Watts, G. & D. Nettle (2010). The role of anxiety in vaginismus: A case-control study. Journal of Sexual Medicine 7: 143-8. PDF.
- Adam Kidson, Rosie Stone & Zoe Harper (BSc Psychology): Nettle, D., Z. Harper, A. Kidson, R. Stone, I.S. Penton-Voak, and M. Bateson (2013). The watching eyes effect in the Dictator Game: It's not how much you give, it's being seen to give something. Evolution and Human Behavior 34 : 35-40. PDF.
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