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Ros Gloag

Ros Gloag
Tel: +44 1865 271171

I am a Research Associate in the Behavioural Ecology Research Group. I completed my DPhil in December 2012, supervised by Prof. Alex Kacelnik.

Together with colleagues from the University of Buenos Aires' Laboratorio de Ecologia y Comportamiento Animal, I study cowbirds (Molothurus sp.), a fascinating group of birds found in the Americas. 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. My research spans a number of aspects of the evolution and maintenance of South American cowbird species, 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 parasites, and provisioning strategies and defense portfolios in hosts.

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. In 2014 I began a University of Sydney Postdoctoral Fellowship, investigating brood parasitism and other behaviours in social bees in the Behaviour and Genetics of Social Insects Laboratory, School of Biological Sciences, University of Sydney.

Selected Publications

Gloag, R., Fiorini, V.D., Reboreda, J-C and Kacelnik, A. (2014). Shiny cowbirds share foster mothers but not true mothers in multiply parasitized mockingbird nests Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology In press.

Gloag, R., Fiorini, V.D., Reboreda, J-C and Kacelnik, A. (2013). The wages of violence: mobbing by mockingbirds as a frontline defence against brood-parasitic cowbirds Animal Behaviour 86: 1023-1029.

Gloag, R. and Kacelnik, A. (2013). Host manipulation via begging call structure in the brood parasitic shiny cowbird. Animal Behaviour 86: 101-109.

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 9: 20130076.

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.

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

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


Clarendon Fund, sponsored by Oxford University Press

Laboratorio de Ecologia y Comportamiento Animal, Departmento de Ecologia, Genetic y Evolucion, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina

Reserva El Destino, Fundacion Elsa Shaw de Pearson

Behaviour and Genetics of Social Insects Lab, School of Biological Sciences, University of Sydney, Australia