Graeme Ruxton

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Graeme Ruxton is a zoologist known for his research into behavioural ecology and evolutionary ecology.

Life and work[edit]

Ruxton received his PhD in Statistics and Modelling Science in 1992 from the University of Strathclyde. His studies focus on the evolutionary pressures on aggregation by animals, and predator-prey aspects of sensory ecology. He researched visual communication in animals at the University of Glasgow, where he was professor of theoretical ecology.[1] In 2013 he became professor at the University of St Andrews, Scotland.[2][3]


Ruxton contributed to the textbook:

  • Ruxton, G. D.; Speed, M. P.; Sherratt, T. N. (2004). Avoiding Attack. The Evolutionary Ecology of Crypsis, Warning Signals and Mimicry. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-852860-4

Ruxton has published papers on antipredator adaptations including:

  • Ruxton G.D., Jackson A.L., Tosh C.R. 2007 Confusion of predators does not rely on specialist coordinated behavior. BEHAVIORAL ECOLOGY 18 (3): 590-596 MAY-JUN
  • Speed M.P., Ruxton G.D. 2007 How bright and how nasty: Explaining diversity in warning signal strength. EVOLUTION 61 (3): 623-635
  • Merilaita S., Ruxton G.D. 2007 Aposematic signals and the relationship between conspicuousness and distinctiveness. JOURNAL OF THEORETICAL BIOLOGY 245 (2): 268-277
  • Skelhorn J., Ruxton G.D. 2006 Avian predators attack aposematic prey more forcefully when they are part of an aggregation. BIOLOGY LETTERS 2 (4): 488-490 DEC 22
  • Jackson, A.L., Beuchamp, G., Broom, M., and Ruxton, G.D. 2006 Evolution of anti-predator traits in response to a flexible targeting strategy by predators. Proceedings Of The Royal Society Of London Series B-Biological Sciences 273, 1590, 1055-1062
  • Ruxton, G. 2006 Behavioural ecology - Grasshoppers don't play possum. Nature 440, 7086, 880-880
  • Jackson, A. L. and Ruxton, G.D. 2006 Toward an individual-level understanding of vigilance: the role of social information. Behavioral Ecology 17, 4, 532-538
  • Ruxton, G.D. and Speed, M.P. 2006 How can automimicry persist when predators can preferentially consume undefended mimics? Proceedings Of The Royal Society Of London Series B-Biological Sciences 273, 1584, 373-378
  • Proctor, C.J., Broom, M., and Ruxton, G.D. 2006 Antipredator vigilance in birds: Modelling the 'edge' effect. Mathematical Biosciences 199, 1, 79-96
  • Tosh, C.R., Jackson, A.L., and Ruxton, G.D. 2006 The confusion effect in predatory neural networks. American Naturalist 167, 2, E52-E65
  • Speed, M.P., Ruxton, G.D., and Broom, M. 2006 Automimicry and the evolution of discrete prey defences. Biological Journal Of The Linnean Society 87, 3, 393-402
  • Broom, M., Speed, M.P., and Ruxton, G.D. 2006 Evolutionarily stable defence and signalling of that defence. Journal of Theoretical Biology 242, 1, 32-43
  • Skelhorn, J. and Ruxton, G.D. 2006 Avian predators attack aposematic prey more forcefully when they are part of an aggregation. Biology Letters 2, 4, 488-490
  • Inger, R., Bearhop, S., Robinson, J.A., and Ruxton, G.D. 2006 Prey choice affects the trade-off balance between predation and starvation in an avian herbivore. Animal Behaviour 71, 6, 1335-1341
  • Ruxton, G.D. and Kennedy, M.W. 2006 Peppers and poisons: the evolutionary ecology of bad taste. Journal Of Animal Ecology 75, 5, 1224-1226
  • Ruxton, G.D. and Sherrat, T.N. 2006 Aggregation, defence and warning signals: the evolutionary relationship. Proceedings Of The Royal Society Of London Series B-Biological Sciences 273, 1600, 2417-2424
  • Morrell, L.J., Lindstrom, J., and Ruxton, G.D. 2005 Why are small males aggressive? Proceedings Of The Royal Society Of London Series B-Biological Sciences 272, 1569, 1235-1241
  • Ruxton, G.D. 2005 Intimidating butterflies. Trends In Ecology & Evolution 20, 6 Special, 276-278
  • Ruxton, G.D. and Speed, M. P. 2005 Evolution: A taste for mimicry. Nature 433, 7023, 205-207
  • Speed, M.P. and Ruxton, G.D. 2005 Aposematism: what should our starting point be? Proceedings Of The Royal Society Of London Series B-Biological Sciences 272, 1561, 431-438
  • Speed, M.P., Kelly, D. J., Davidson, A. M., and Ruxton, G.D. 2005 Countershading enhances crypsis with some bird species but not others. Behavioral Ecology 16, 2, 327-334
  • Broom, M., Speed, M.P., and Ruxton, G.D. 2005 Evolutionarily stable investment in secondary defences. Functional Ecology 19, 5, 836-843
  • Speed, M.P. and Ruxton, G.D. 2005 Warning displays in spiny animals: One (more) evolutionary route to aposematism. Evolution 59, 12, 2499-2508
  • Jackson, A.L., Ruxton, G.D., Brown, S., and Sherratt, T. N. 2005 The effects of group size, shape and composition on ease of detection of cryptic prey. Behaviour 142, 6, 811-826
  • Ruxton, G.D., Fraser, C., and Broom, M. 2005 An evolutionarily stable joining policy for group foragers. Behavioral Ecology 16, 5, 856-864
  • Sherratt, T.N., Speed, M.P., and Ruxton, G.D. 2004 Natural selection on unpalatable species imposed by state-dependent foraging behaviour. Journal of Theoretical Biology 228, 2, 217-226
  • Broom, M., Luther, R.M., and Ruxton, G.D. 2004 Resistance is useless? - Extensions to the game theory of kleptoparasitism. Bulletin of Mathematical Biology 66, 6, 1645-1658
  • Ruxton, G.D., Speed, M. P., and Kelly, D.J. 2004 What, if anything, is the adaptive function of countershading? Animal Behaviour 68, 3, 445-451
  • Beauchamp, G. and Ruxton, G.D. 2003 Changes in vigilance with group size under scramble competition. American Naturalist 161, 4, 672-675
  • Ruxton, G.D. 1998 Mimicry - Sheep in wolves' clothing. Nature 394, 6696, 833-834


  1. ^ Lee, Jane J. (9 February 2012). "Mystery of Zebra's Stripes Finally Solved?". ScienceNOW. Archived from the original on 16 January 2013. Retrieved 15 February 2013. 
  2. ^ "Prof Graeme Ruxton". University of St Andrews School of Biology. Retrieved 30 December 2013. 
  3. ^ "Professor Graeme Ruxton". University of Glasgow Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine. Retrieved 30 December 2013. 

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