Jamie Winternitz, Bielefeld University, Germany
I am very excited and honored to serve as an associate editor of the Journal of Zoology. Recognized for publishing stimulating research that spans the wide breadth of animal ecology, behavior, and evolution, the Journal of Zoology journal is truly integrative.
This multidisciplinary perspective is something that I share with the journal. Broadly, I am interested in disease ecology, which includes animal behavior, molecular ecology, genetics, evolution, and ecoimmunology. I have worked on questions related to the ecology and evolution of mammalian and avian immunity over the past decade, from the Rocky Mountains of Colorado to the urban forests of North Rhine-Westphalia.
My long-term research focus investigates the genetic underpinning of fitness traits related to immune defense and immunity-based mating decisions. I am interested in understanding individual-, population-, and interspecies-level differences in immunity, particularly the role of parasite-mediated selection and sexual selection driving this variation. My work has involved time in the lab complimented by time in the field to investigate what maintains and shapes the tremendous variation in immune defense in natural populations.
I encourage submissions of studies that investigate questions fundamental to animal ecology and evolution. I would be particularly happy to see papers with strong theoretical foundation that test predictions in the field with observational, experimental, and/or comparative data.
Airam Rodriguez, Estación Biológica de Doñana CSIC, Spain
My main research interests are conservation biology and wildlife management for the preservation of the environment using top avian predators as model species (raptors and seabirds). Although I mostly work on seabirds, raptors, and their conservation, I have wide-ranging interests in avian biology and island ecology (plant-animal interactions). My research focusses on the ecological consequences of light pollution, the effects of plastic pollution on seabirds and human-wildlife conflicts such as those involving raptors.
I graduated at the University of La Laguna and researched the secondary seed dispersal by an avian predator, the grey heron, on the Canary Islands (MSc at the University of Sevilla & Instituto de Productos Naturales y Agrobiología IPNA-CSIC) and the migratory ecology of lesser kestrels (PhD at the University of Sevilla & Doñana Biological Station EBD-CSIC). After a post-doc at the Research Department of Phillips Island Nature Parks, Australia, with a Marie Curie International Outgoing Fellowship, I returned to EBD-CSIC where I carry out research on the effects of light and plastic pollution on seabirds. Currently, I am a postdoctoral researcher at this institution thanks to a Juan de la Cierva fellowship. During my previous research I conducted fieldwork in Finland, Hawaii, Argentina, Australia, Balearic Islands, Spain and Canary Islands.
I am honoured to be an Associate Editor for the Journal of Zoology. I look forward to seeing manuscripts submitted that cross the boundaries of applied zoology, especially on birds. I also like studies that use a multidisciplinary approach to shed light on the best conservation and management strategies to preserve wild animal populations.
Francesca Raffini, University of Sheffield, UK
I am broadly interested in natural sciences, particularly biology, ecology and genomics. My research experience has revolved around understanding how biological and environmental processes within and among populations or species produce this striking diversity and the so well-fitted adaptations of organisms to the environment/community they inhabit, a tantalizing question which remains largely unanswered. To contribute to illuminating this conundrum, I completed my Bachelor and Master of Science in Biology at the University of Bologna (Italy), then my PhD in Natural Sciences at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology (but I studies fishes) and the University of Konstanz (Germany). Currently, I am a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Sheffield (UK) where I am analysing hybrid zones in marine snails. This interesting study system allows me to visit amazing locations and be a comprehensive scientist having fun in the field, lab and with bioinformatics. If you don’t find me above-water, surely I am scuba diving, one of my favourite hobbies.
I am very passionate about science; this has greatly helped me to overcome difficulties related to my handicap. I am deaf but it has never prevented me from successfully achieving my own goals in science and life. On the contrary, it has enriched me with more respect, resilience and solid determination. Science can be an exciting yet challenging environment under some aspects, including work-life balance and inclusion, but my hope is to contribute to building a more collaborative community.
I am very excited to join the Editorial Board of the Journal of Zoology and I look forward to receiving your research on animal evolution, ecology, genetics, behaviour, physiology, anatomy, development, phylogeny and systematics! Interdisciplinary studies are especially welcome. Please feel free to follow me on Twitter @FraRaff_Delfina or my website.
Elina Koivisto, University of Turku, Finland
My research has been focusing on understanding how species interactions affect behaviour and population dynamics of wild vertebrates. More specifically I have been concentrating in predator-prey dynamics, interspecific competition, intraguild predation, and cascading effects of predators to plants through their impacts on herbivore populations.
As a study system I have been primarily working with voles, which exhibit cyclic variations in their population densities, together with their mammalian and avian predators. My favourite study species are however small mesopredators, like least weasels, because their dual ecological roles as both predators and potential prey for larger predators make them fascinating subjects for behavioural studies. In addition, the combined impacts of multiple predators, of which one must be aware of the other, on the mutual prey can be surprising.
I am also intrigued by anthropogenic stressors, such as challenges posed by urban landscapes and toxins, and how they can affect the behaviour and population dynamics of vertebrate animals and the interactions between different species. I hope to do more research on urban ecology in the future. Lately I have also been working with something completely different than what I usually do, the role of aspen as a keystone species in boreal forests and how new remote sensing methods can help in locating ecologically important tree species with a scattered distribution.
I am very excited to join the editorial team of Journal of Zoology and I am hoping to see all kinds of papers related to ecology, population dynamics and behaviour of animals. One thing I love in reviewing for journals is to get the possibility to read very various types of papers and I hope I will get the same chance as an editor too.
Shannon Gerry, Fairfield University, USA
I am excited to join the Editorial Board of the Journal of Zoology as an Associate Editor! I am currently an Associate Professor of Biology at Fairfield University, in Connecticut, USA. Starting at a very young age, I always had a love of the ocean and fishes, in particular. As an undergraduate I studied the morphology of the electroreceptive pores in freshwater stingrays. My PhD research compared the feeding ecology, behaviors and muscle function of two species of sharks from coastal Rhode Island. As a postdoctoral researcher I investigated the energetic requirements of fish swimming, trade-offs in swimming performance and the mechanical properties of leech muscle.
My current research continues to focus on feeding and locomotion- two behaviors that are essential to organismal survival. I am especially interested in generalist versus specialist adaptations and how these adaptations can constrain or improve feeding or locomotor performance. I have been studying the influence of body shape in a population of bluegill sunfish that have shown a divergence in their swimming and feeding behaviors as adults. Currently, I am trying to determine if this divergence follows a similar pattern in juveniles. I am also collaborating on a project to investigate the influence of temperature on the muscle physiology, swimming and feeding behaviors of two local fish species that enter torpor at colder temperatures.
I am looking forward to reading papers focused on animal behavior or biomechanics, and specifically feeding or locomotion.
Andrea Ravignani, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium & Sealcentre Pieterburen, The Netherlands
My research investigates how animals learn new sounds, and precisely coordinate their signals in time. I use a variety of approaches, including techniques from experimental psychology, ethology, bioacoustics, neuroscience, and agent-based modelling.
In 2010, I completed my Bachelor and Master degrees in mathematics in Barcelona, Bielefeld, Madrid, Paris, and Rome, with a focus on the mathematical theory of communication (information theory) and signalling games (game theory). In 2014, I completed my PhD in Cognitive Biology between Vienna and Edinburgh, using experimental behavioural methods to understand auditory pattern perception in monkeys and apes. Since 2015, I study the interplay between vocal production learning and rhythm cognition in pinnipeds (harbour and grey seals). I am currently a Pegasus Marie-Curie fellow at the Research Department, Sealcentre Pieterburen (NL) and Artificial Intelligence Lab, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (BE).
I particularly look forward to receiving contributions in one or more of the following areas: (1) acoustics, (2) animal rhythms and behavioural coordination, (3) mammals, with an emphasis on aquatic species and primates (including humans), (4) behavioural development.
Lorinda Hart, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
I grew up in Swaziland, where a passion for nature was nurtured from a young age. After going to boarding school in Pretoria, South Africa I knew the corporate city life was not for me and I enrolled at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) to study Zoology. I completed my PhD there, which focussed on avian and bat frugivores that fed on invasive fruits commonly found in South Africa. I have broad research interests, but am especially interested in ecophysiology, and urban and invasive ecology. I am currently co-authoring a book on globally invasive birds with Prof. C. T. Downs from UKZN and am involved in several projects on a range of (predominantly avian) species. My most recent publications stem from research conducted on Cousine Island in the Seychelles where various aspects of seabird breeding biology were assessed. One of my great passions are birds of prey and I am actively involved in a specialist raptor rehabilitation centre where I facilitate research and serve on the ‘Predatory Bird Projects’ committee. I am a firm believer in such collaborative research and would like to participate in more projects which benefit or actively involve communities and citizen scientists. In this way, education, awareness and interest can be generated. I would like to see such collaborative projects submitting articles to the Journal of Zoology.