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Professor Andy Radford - University of Bristol. Bristol, , GB

Professor Andy Radford Professor Andy Radford

Professor of Behavioural Ecology | University of Bristol


Exploring how animals cohabitate in the context of bioacoustics and animal behaviour

Areas of Expertise (5)


Animal Sounds

Animal Behavior




Professor Andy Radford is based in the School of Biological Sciences, University of Bristol where his studies involve observing co-operation, conflict and vocal communications among animals. Professor Radford is partocularly interested in how the movement, community living, physiology, reproduction, and survival of animals are all affected when there is significant disruption from unnatural sources of sound. Among other areas of focus, this involves examining the impact on wildlife of man-made noise and interference from boats, windfarms and machinery.

Professor Radford has worked in Australia, South Africa, French Polynesia and Panama. He has examined coral-bleaching in the Coral Reef off the coast Australia which impacts on fish and marine invertebrates. He has also explored how windfarms off the coast of the UK have disrupted the nesting habits of seabream. An additional specialist area is the unusual habits of Dwarf Mongoose in South Africa, a species where breeding only takes place among the dominant pair and other adults look after their offspring.

Accomplishments (3)

Invited Fellow of the Society of Biology


Best of Bristol Lecturers


University Research Fellowship, Institute for Advanced Studies


Education (3)

University of Cambridge: Ph.D., Zoology 2003

University of Oxford: M.Sc., Biology, Integrative Bioscience 1998

University of Cambridge: B.A., Natural Sciences (Part II Zoology) 1996

Affiliations (3)

  • Member, Faculty of Life Sciences Promotions Committee
  • Deputy Director, Graduate School, SoBS
  • Exams Officer in School of Biological Sciences (SoBS)

Media Appearances (5)

After coronavirus, focus on the climate emergency

The Guardian  online


It is not only whales that are enjoying the opportunity for improved “conversations” presented by the current drop in manmade noise levels (Silence is golden for whales as lockdown reduces ocean noise, 27 April). From insects to fish, nature is booming as human activity intrudes less during lockdown. In our gardens, birdsong is more noticeable without a constant soundtrack of traffic noise. When our activities increase post-lockdown, we should reflect on the joy these sounds have given us and consider more permanent changes to the way we share the planet with our wildlife, for the benefit of all.

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Silencing with Noise

BBC Radio 4  online


Sound is what the world does. From the tiniest bugs to the largest whales, animals use sound to communicate, for example, they sing to attract a mate and establish a territory. But this is all happening against a background of man-made noise that was, until the last few weeks, increasing in volume all the time. So what happens if you can’t hear or make yourself heard or you are too stressed or distracted to behave normally? Andy Radford, Professor of Behavioural Ecology at the University of Bristol explores the impact of this global pollutant and the mitigation measures that could help.

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Scientists Made Coral Reefs Sound Health And The Fish Came Back

The Science Times  online


Andy Radford, a co-author, and professor in behavioral ecology at the University of Bristol said that acoustic enrichment is a promising technique for management on a local basis. However, they still need to tackle a host of other threats including climate change, water pollution, and overfishing, in order to protect these fragile ecosystems.

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Underwater Speakers Help Revive Dying Coral Reefs, Study Finds

Forbes  online


“If combined with habitat restoration and other conservation measures, rebuilding fish communities in this manner might accelerate ecosystem recovery,” said Professor Andy Radford, a co-author from the University of Bristol, in the press release.

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Andy Radford, Professor of Behavioural Ecology at the University of Bristol, shares his knowledge of birds from around the world.

BBC Radio 4  online


Andy Radford, Professor of Behavioural Ecology at the University of Bristol, shares his knowledge of birds from around the world.

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Articles (5)

Context-dependent contributions to sentinel behaviour: audience, satiation and danger effects

Animal Behaviour

2020 In group-living species, particularly cooperative breeders, all group members contribute to various behaviours but there is considerable variation between and within individuals in their contributions. While it is well established that there is variation due to differences in the costs and benefits for individuals of different sex, age and dominance status, shorter-term social, internal and environmental factors are also likely to be important.

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Sibling quality and the haplodiploidy hypothesis

Biology Letters

2020 The ‘haplodiploidy hypothesis’ argues that haplodiploid inheritance in bees, wasps, and ants generates relatedness asymmetries that promote the evolution of altruism by females, who are less related to their offspring than to their sisters (‘supersister’ relatedness).

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Exposure of benthic invertebrates to sediment vibration: From laboratory experiments to outdoor simulated pile-driving

Proceedings of Meetings on Acoustics

2020 Activities directly interacting with the seabed, such as pile-driving, can produce vibrations that have the potential to impact benthic invertebrates within their vicinity. This stimuli may interfere with crucial behaviors such as foraging and predator avoidance, and the sensitivity to vibration is largely unknown.

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Hormonal and behavioural effects of motorboat noise on wild coral reef fish

Environmental Pollution

2020 Anthropogenic noise is an emergent ecological pollutant in both terrestrial and aquatic habitats. Human population growth, urbanisation, resource extraction, transport and motorised recreation lead to elevated noise that affects animal behaviour and physiology, impacting individual fitness.

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Intrapopulation variation in the behavioral responses of dwarf mongooses to anthropogenic noise

Behavioral Ecology

2020 Anthropogenic noise is an increasingly widespread pollutant, with a rapidly burgeoning literature demonstrating impacts on humans and other animals. However, most studies have simply considered if there is an effect of noise, examining the overall cohort response. Although substantial evidence exists for intraspecific variation in responses to other anthropogenic disturbances, this possibility has received relatively little experimental attention with respect to noise.

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