Prof Christian Rutz:
Professor of Biology

Following research as a Rhodes Scholar (DPhil), Junior Research Fellow (Postdoc) and BBSRC David Phillips Fellow (PI) at the University of Oxford, I transferred my group in 2012 to the University of St Andrews, to take up a Readership in the School of Biology. I have diverse research interests in the fields of animal ecology (behavioural ecology; population biology; predation dynamics), animal cognition (tool use; culture; social learning; comparative cognition), and conservation science (large-scale conservation schemes; policy making). My group’s principal research project is on the evolutionary, ecological and social contexts of tool-use behaviour in New Caledonian crows. I enjoy developing innovative, cutting-edge research methodologies, and led the teams that first deployed miniature video-cameras (2007, Science) and proximity loggers (2012, Current Biology) on wild birds – breakthroughs that were recognised with the 'BTO Marsh Award for Innovative Ornithology 2013', a finalist entry at the ‘UK Technology and Innovation Awards 2008’, and a nomination for the ‘BBSRC Innovator of the Year Award 2012’. I hold honorary appointments at three international research universities (New South Wales, Australia; Tokyo, Japan; Oxford, UK), and was recently elected to the Royal Society of Edinburgh’s ‘Young Academy of Scotland’.



In a recent issue of Nature, we reported our discovery of species-wide tool use in the Hawaiian crow Corvus hawaiiensis. You can read the full paper for free here.

source: symbiosis

Recent Publications:

Recent publications listed in research@st-andrews
Rutz, C & Deans, S 2018, 'Nuthatch uses tool in London park' Ethology, vol 124, no. 2, pp. 135-138. DOI: 10.1111/eth.12714
Rutz, C, Klump, BC, Komarczyk, L, Leighton, R, Kramer, J, Wischnewski, S, Sugasawa, S, Morrissey, MB, James, R, St Clair, J, Switzer, RA & Masuda, BM 2016, 'Discovery of species-wide tool use in the Hawaiian crow' Nature, vol 537, no. 7620, pp. 403-407. DOI: 10.1038/nature19103