Research interests

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Parental care and offspring cannibalism

Animals display an amazing diversity of parental care strategies – while some animals invest nothing into their young, others are prepared to die for their offspring. I am interested in how animals provide parental care in “extreme” environments, such as in the rocky intertidal zone. I am also very interested in the evolution of parent-offspring cannibalism. At first glance, cannibalizing offspring under one’s care appears to be highly bizarre and counterproductive for a nurturing parent, and yet cannibalism is an incredibly common behaviour seen across the animal kingdom. Some of my research is shedding new light on the benefits of cannibalism during parental care.

select PUblications

  • Bose APH, Lau M, Cogliati KM, Neff B, Balshine S. ). Cannibalism of young is related to low paternity and nest takeovers in an intertidal fish. Anim Behav, 153: 41-48.

  • Bose APH, Borowiec BG, Scott GR, Balshine S (2019). Nesting on high: Reproductive and physiological consequences of breeding across an intertidal gradient. Evol Ecol, 33(1): 21-36.

  • Jindal S, Bose APH, O'Connor CM, Balshine S (2017). A test of male infanticide as a reproductive tactic in a cichlid fish. R Soc Open Sci 4(3): 160891.


reproductive tactics, cuckoldry, and mating systems

A mating system is an emergent property of a population that is influenced by the social interactions among males and females and the reproductive traits that they express. I’ve been especially interested in alternative reproductive tactics, whereby individuals gain reproduction in multiple different ways (oftentimes by using surreptitious or coercive means!). My work seeks to understand how alternative tactics evolve and how they interplay with other reproductive traits, such as parental care.

select PUblications

  • Bose APH, Henshaw JM, Zimmermann H, Fritzsche K, Sefc KM (2019). Inclusive fitness benefits mitigate costs of cuckoldry to socially paired males. BMC Biology 17(2).

  • Bose APH, Zimmermann H, Henshaw JM, Fritzsche K, Sefc KM (2018). Brood-tending males in a biparental fish suffer high paternity losses but rarely cuckold. Mol Ecol 27(21): 4309-4321.

  • Bose APH, Cogliati KM, Luymes N, Bass AH, Marchaterre MA, Sisneros JA, Bolker B, Balshine S (2018). Phenotypic traits and resource quality as factors affecting male reproductive success in a toadfish. Behav Ecol 29(2): 496-507.

Photo credit: Dr. Isabelle Côté

Photo credit: Dr. Isabelle Côté

Human impacts on animals

Humans are having unprecedented effects on the ecosystems of our planet. Certain human activities can have acute and conspicuously harmful effects on wild animals, while other activities can have more subtle effects, altering behaviour and physiology in ways that reduce animal survival and reproduction over longer periods of time. I have studied, from a variety of angles, human-induced changes to the behaviour and physiology of wild animals.

select PUblications

  • Bose APH, Zayonc D, Avrantinis N, Ficzycz N, Fischer-Rush J, Francis FT, Gray S, Manning F, Robb H, Schmidt C, Spice C, Umedaly A, Warden J, Côté I (2019). Effects of short-term captivity: a multi-behaviour approach using red sea urchins, Mesocentrotus franciscanus. PeerJ, 7:e6556.

  • McCallum ES, Bose APH, Warriner TR, Balshine S (2017). An evaluation of behavioural endpoints: The pharmaceutical pollutant fluoxetine decreases aggression across multiple contexts in round goby (Neogobius melanostomus). Chemosphere 175: 401-410.

  • Götze S, Bose A, Sokolova IM, Abele D, Saborowski R (2014). The proteasomes of two marine decapod crustaceans, European lobster (Homarus gammarus) and Edible crab (Cancer pagurus), are differently impaired by heavy metals. Comp Biochem Phys C 162: 62-69.


Fish bioacoustics and otolith morphology

The underwater lives of many fish are noisy – a fact underappreciated by many people. Fish actually have a keen sense of hearing and many of them are also sonic, producing sounds for foraging, mating, avoiding predators, and learning about their surroundings. Some of my research has strived to characterize the acoustic environments that fish live in. My other work has focused on understanding the sometimes-bizarre and complex shapes of fish otoliths (hard, calcareous structures in the hearing organs of many fishes). Otoliths are extremely useful for fish biologists as they can convey information about fish age, growth patterns, and even the environments where fish live. The shapes of certain otoliths can differ dramatically between species, and I have shown that otolith shape can also vary within a species and within a sex, according to the reproductive tactics that individuals express.

select PUblications

  • Halliday WD, Pine MK, Bose APH, Balshine S, Juanes F (2018). The plainfin midshipman’s soundscape at two sites around Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 603: 189-200.

  • Bose APH, McCallum ES, Raymond K, Marentette JR, Balshine S (2018). Growth and otolith morphology vary with alternative reproductive tactics and contaminant exposure in the round goby Neogobius melanostomus. J Fish Biol 93(4): 674-684.

  • Bose APH, Adragna JB, Balshine S (2016). Otolith morphology varies between populations, sexes and male alternative reproductive tactics in a vocal toadfish Porichthys notatus. J Fish Biol 90(1): 311-325.