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Fellows Directory

John McNamara

John McNamara

Professor John McNamara FRS


Elected: 2012


John McNamara is a mathematician, behavioural ecologist and evolutionary biologist whose research involves developing new methods and models for the study of animal behaviour. His approaches take into account factors such as physiological changes during an animal’s lifetime and have provided a framework for building more holistic and realistic models of behaviour that include time and consider differences between individuals.

Amongst John's areas of study are the trade-off between food and predation, the overwinter survival strategies of birds, annual routines, trans-generational effects, adaptations to fluctuating environments, the ecological rationality of behavioural strategies and evolutionary game theory.

His work has been internationally recognised, and he is the joint winner of the 2008 Hamilton Award of the International Society for Behavioral Ecology, the joint winner of the 2013 Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour Medal, and the winner of the 2014 Weldon Memorial Prize, the 2018 Frink Medal of the Zoological Society of London and the 2018 Sewall Wright Award of the American Society of Naturalists.

Interest and expertise

Subject groups

  • Organismal biology, evolution and ecology
    • Ecology (incl behavioural ecology)


Annual routines, State-dependent decisions, Evolutionary game theory, fluctuating environments, Information use, Ecological rationality

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