Tel: +44 1865 271171
I am a DPhil candidate and Clarendon Scholar here at Oxford's Zoology Department, supervised by Prof. Alex Kacelnik. I work with a unique group of birds found in the Americas and known commonly as cowbirds (Molothurus sp.). Cowbirds are brood parasites and do not rear their own young, instead dumping their eggs in the nests of other (host) species which then raise the young cowbirds at their own expense, generally alongside some of their own offspring. My research spans a number of aspects of the evolution and maintenance of parasitism in these systems, with the aim of shedding light on how apparent maladaptive behaviours persist in both parasites and hosts. This includes work on begging behaviours and virulent behaviours in cowbirds, and provisioning strategies and defense portfolios in hosts.
Much of my year is spent in Oxford, but during the southern summers I am at my fieldsite in Argentina (Reserva El Destino, Fundacion Elsa Shaw de Pearson). Here occur two species of cowbird, shiny cowbirds ((M. bonariensis) and screaming cowbirds (M. rufoaxillaris) and also many host species. Here too, I have the good fortune to collaborate with researchers from the University of Buenos Aires’s Laboratorio de Ecología y Comportamiento Animal (Departmento de Ecología, Genétic y Evolución; Prof. Juan Reboreda) and to enjoy the remarkable birdlife and other natural wonders of Argentina.
I am broadly interested in the field of Animal Behaviour, including the ecology, genetics and evolution of animal behaviours, and I have a fascination with creatures of all kinds. I have previously worked with bees and termites during two rewarding years in the Behaviour and Genetics of Social Insects Laboratory at the University of Sydney, Australia (School of Biological Sciences; Prof. Ben Oldroyd & Dr. Madeleine Beekman). Prior to this I completed my Bachelor of Science at the University of Sydney. I also have a Bachelor of Arts (Literature), University of Sydney.
Gloag, R. and Kacelnik, A. (2013). Host manipulation via begging call structure in the brood parasitic shiny cowbird. Animal Behaviour (In Press).
De Marsico, M., Gloag, R., Ursino, C. Reboreda, J-C. (2013) A novel method of rejection of brood parasitic eggs reduces parasitism intensity in a cowbird host Biology Letters Online March 24.
Gloag, R., Fiorini, V.D., Reboreda, J-C and Kacelnik, A. (2012). Brood parasite eggs enhance host egg survival in a multiply-parasitized host. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 279:1831-1839.
Gloag, R., Tuero, D.T., Fiorini, V.D., Reboreda, J-C. and Kacelnik, A. (2012) The economics of nestmate-killing in avian brood parasites: a provisions trade-off Behavioural Ecology 23: 132-140.
Oxley, P.R., Hinhumpatch, P., Gloag, R.S. and Oldroyd, B.P. (2010). Genetic evaluation of a novel system for controlled mating of the honeybee, Apis mellifera Journal of Heredity 101: 334-338.
Lo, N., Gloag, R.S., Anderson, D.L. and Oldroyd, B.P. (2010). A molecular phylogeny of the genus Apis suggests that the giant honeybee of the Phillipines, A. breviliula Maa, and the Plains Honey Bee of southern India, A. indica Fabricius, are valid species Systematic Entomology 35: 226-233.
Allsopp, M.H., Beekman, M., Gloag, R.S. and Oldroyd, B.P. (2010). Maternity of replacement queens in the thelytokous Cape honey bee Apis mellifera capensis. Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology 64: 567-574.
Gloag, R.S., Shaw, S. R. and Burwell, C. (2009). A new species of Syntretus (Hymenoptera: Braconidae: Euphorinae) parasitises the stingless bee Trigona carbonaria (Hymenoptera: Apidae: Meliponinae). Australian Journal of Entomology 48: 8-14.
Chapman, N.C. ,Nanork, P., Gloag, R.S., Wattanachaiyingcharoen, W., Beekman, M. and Oldroyd, B.P. (2009). Queenless colonies of the Asian red dwarf honeybee Apis florea are infiltrated by workers from other queenless colonies. Behavioural Ecology 20(4):817-820
Gloag, R., Heard, T.A., Beekman, M. & Oldroyd, B.P. (2008). Nest defence in a stingless bee: What causes fighting swarms in Trigona carbonaria (Hymenoptera: Meliponini)? Insectes Sociaux 55: 387-391
Oldroyd, B.P., Allsopp, M.H., Gloag, R.S. Lim, J., Jordan, L.A. & Beekman, M. (2008). Thelyotokous Parthenogensis in Unmated Queen Honeybees (Apis mellifera capensis): Central Fusion and High Recombination Rates. Genetics 180: 359-366
Oldroyd, B.P., Gloag, R.S., Even, N., Wattanachaiyingcharoen, W. & Beekman, M. (2008) Nest site selection in the open-nesting honeybee Apis florea. Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology 62: 1643-1653
Beekman, M., Gloag, R.S., Even, N., Wattanachaiyingcharoen, W. & Oldroyd, B.P (2008) Dance precision of Apis florea—clues to the evolution of the honeybee dance language? Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology 62:1259–1265
Gloag, R.S., Beekman, M., Heard, T.A. and Oldroyd, B. P. (2007). No worker reproduction in the Australian stingless bee Trigona carbonaria Smith (Hymenoptera, Apidae). Insectes Sociaux 54: 412-417
Nanork, P., Chapman, N.C., Wongsiri, S., Lim, J., Gloag, R.S. and Oldroyd, B.P. (2007) Social parasitism by workers in queenless and queenright Apis cerana colonies. Molecular Ecology 16: 1107-111
Gloag, R.S., Ritchie, R.J., Chen, M., Larkum, A.W.D. and Quinell, R.G. (2007). Chromatic photoacclimation, photosynthetic electron transport and oxygen evolution in the Chlorophyll d-containing oxyphotobacterium Acaryochloris marina. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta-Bioenergetics 1767:127-135