Dukas’ Lab: Cognitive Ecology

Lab members | Research projects  | Prospective studentsPublications   |  Cognitive Ecology II   |  e-mail Links


Address: Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour,
McMaster University, 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, Ontario, L8S 4K1, Canada

Telephone: 905-525-9140   ext. 23894     Fax: 905-529-6225  

E-mail: dukas at mcmaster.ca


General interests:
Cognitive Ecology: the mechanisms, ecology and evolution of cognition, and effects of cognitive traits on animal behaviour, ecology and evolution.

Specific research areas: Ecology and evolution of perception, learning, and decision making.
                                           Effects of cognition on animal ecology and evolution.
                                           Sociability and social cognition




Yan*, J. L., Dobbin*, M. & Dukas, R. Submitted. Sexual conflict and sexual networks in bed bugs: the fitness cost of traumatic insemination, female avoidance, and male mate choice

Kashetsky*, T., Yan*, J., Doering, G., Skelton*, T., and Dukas, R. Submitted. Group expertise: the effect of experience on collective decision-making

Smith*, N. & Dukas, R. Submitted. The winner and loser effect in humans: evidence from  randomized trials.

Torabi-Marashi*, A., Scott*, A. M., Dukas, R., Dworkin, I. The genetic basis of natural variation in sociability.

Baxter, C.*, Shams, I.*, Dworkin, I and Dukas, R.  2023.  Genetic correlation between aggressive signals and fighting. Biology Letters 

Yan*, J., and Dukas, R. 2022. The social consequences of sexual conflict in bed bugs: social networks and sexual attraction. Animal Behavior 192: 109-117

Scott*, A.M., Baxter*, C.M., Yan*, J.L., Dworkin, I., and Dukas, R. 2022. The genetic basis of variation in sexual aggression: evolution versus plasticity. Molecular Ecology 31:2865–2881

Filice, D. C. S. and R. Dukas. 2022. Previous inter-sexual aggression increases female mating propensity in fruit flies. Behavioral Ecology 33: 946–953

Scott, A.*, M., Dworkin, I. & Dukas, R. 2022. Evolution of sociability by artificial selection. Evolution 76: 541–553

Kashetsky*, T., Avgar, T., and Dukas, R. 2021. The Cognitive Ecology of Animal Movement: evidence from birds and mammals. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution: 9:724887

Filice, D. C. S.*, Bhargava, R.*, and Dukas, R. 2021. Female mating experience and genetic background independently influence male mating success in fruit flies. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 34: 309-318

Dukas, R. 2020. Natural history of social and sexual behavior in fruit flies. Scientific Reports 10: 21932

Yost, R. T., J. W. Robinson, C. M. Baxter*, A. M. Scott*, L. P. Brown, S. Aletta, R. Hakimjavadi, A. M. Lone, R. C. Cumming, R. Dukas, B. Mozer, and A. F. Simon. 2020. Abnormal social interactions in a Drosophila mutant of an autism candidate gene: neuroligin 3. International Journal of Molecular Sciences 21:4601

Dukas, R., J. L. Yan*, A. M. Scott*, S. Sivaratnam*, and C. Baxter*. 2020. Artificial selection on sexual aggression: correlated traits and possible trade-offs. Evolution 74: 1112-1123

Filice, D.C.S.* Bhargava, R.* and Dukas, R. 2020. Plasticity in male mating behavior modulates female life-history in fruit flies. Evolution 74: 365-376.

Guo, X* and Dukas, R. 2020. The cost of aggression in animals without weapons. Ethology 126: 34-41

Baxter, C.*, Yan, J. L.* and Dukas, R. 2019. Genetic variation in sexual aggression and the factors that determine forced-copulation success. Animal Behavior 158:261-267

Filice, D.C.S.* and Dukas, R. 2019. Winners have higher pre-copulatory mating success, but losers are better at post-copulatory outcomes. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B-Biological Sciences 286: 20182838

Dukas, R. 2019. Animal expertise: mechanisms, ecology and evolution. Animal Behaviour 147: 199-210

Scott, A., M., Dworkin, I. & Dukas, R. 2018. Sociability in fruit flies: genetic variation, heritability and plasticity. Behavior Genetics 48:247-258

Baxter, C., Mentlik, J., Shams Ieta & Dukas, R. 2018. Mating success in fruit flies: courtship interference versus female choice. Animal Behaviour 138: 101-108

Dukas, R. 2018. Insect cognition and learning. In: Insect Behavior: from mechanisms to ecological and evolutionary consequences (Ed. by A. Cordoba-Aguilar, D. Gonzalez-Tokman & I. Gonzalez-Santoyo). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Dukas, R. 2017. Cognitive innovations and the evolutionary biology of expertise. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. B 372: 20160427 .

Anderson BB, Scott A, Dukas R, 2017. Indirect genetic effects on the sociability of several  group members. Animal Behaviour 123: 101-106.

Baxter CM and Dukas R, 2017. Life history of aggression: effects of age and sexual experience on male aggression towards males and females. Animal Behaviour 123:11-20.

Abbott, K. R. and Dukas R, 2016. Substrate choice by ovipositing mothers and consequent hatchling behaviour: the exploration sharing hypothesis. Animal Behaviour 121:53-59.

Anderson, B B, Scott, A, and Dukas R. 2016. Social behavior and activity are decoupled in larval and adult fruit flies. Behavioral Ecology 27: 820–828.

Dukas, R and Scott, A. 2015. Fruit fly courtship: the female perspective. Current Zoology 61: 1008–1014

Baxter CM, Barnett R and Dukas R, 2015. Aggression, mate guarding, and fitness in male fruit flies. Animal Behaviour  109: 235-241:

Croston, R., Branch, C. L., Kozlovsky, D. Y., Dukas, R. & Pravosudov, V. V. 2015. Heritability and understanding the evolution of cognition: A response to comments on Croston et al. Behavioral Ecology 26:1463-1464

Croston R, Branch CL, Kozlovsky DY, Dukas R and Pravosudov VV, 2015. Heritability and the evolution of cognitive traits. Behavioral Ecology 26:1447-1459

Baxter CM, Barnett R, Dukas R, 2015. Effects of age and experience on male-mate choosiness. Ethology 121: 353–363

Hills, T. T., Todd, P. M., Lazer, R., Redish, Couzin, I. D., Bateson, M., Cools, R., Dukas, R., Giraldeau, L.-A., Macy, M. W., Page, S.E., Shiffrin, R. M., Stephens, D. W., Uzzi, B. & Wolfe, J. W. 2015. Exploration vs. exploitation in space, mind, and society. Trends in Cognitive Science 19:46-54

Golden, S. and Dukas, R. 2014. The value of patch-choice copying in fruit flies. PLoS ONE 9: e112381.

Durisko, Z., Kemp, B., Mubasher, A,  and Dukas, R. 2014. Dynamics of social interactions in fruit fly larvae. PLoS ONE 9: e95495.

Venu, I., Durisko, D., Xu, JP and Dukas, R. 2014. Social attraction mediated by fruit flies’ microbiome. Journal of Experimental Biology: 217: 1346-1352

Durisko, Z., Anderson, B., and Dukas, R. 2014. Adult fruit fly attraction to larvae biases experience and mediates social learning. Journal of Experimental Biology 217:1193-1197.

Dukas, R. and Baxter, C. M. 2014. Mate choosiness in young male fruit flies. Behavioral Ecology 25:549-552

Schwarz, S. Durisko, Z. and Dukas, R. 2014. Food selection in larval fruit flies: dynamics and effects on larval development. Naturwissenschaften 101: 61-68.

Durisko, Z., and Dukas, R. 2013. Effects of early-life experience on learning ability in fruit flies. Ethology 119: 1067-1076.

Durisko, Z., and Dukas, R. 2013. Attraction to and learning from social cues in fruit fly larvae. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B-Biological Sciences 280: 20131398

Dukas, R. 2013. Effects of learning on evolution: robustness, innovation and speciation. Animal Behaviour 85: 1023-1030.

Servedio, M. and Dukas, R. 2013. Effects on population divergence of within-generational learning about prospective mates. Evolution 67: 2363-2375

Dukas, R. and Jongsma, K. 2012.  Effects of forced copulations on female sexual attractiveness in fruit flies. Animal Behaviour: 84: 1501-1505

Dukas, R. and Dukas, L. 2012.  Learning about prospective mates in male fruit flies: effects of acceptance and rejection. Animal Behaviour: 84: 1427-1434

Dukas, R. and Jongsma, K. 2012. Costs to females and benefits to males from forced copulations in fruit flies. Animal Behaviour: 84: 1177-1182.

Lancet, Y. & Dukas, R. 2012. Socially influenced behaviour and learning in locusts. Ethology 118: 302-310.

Hills, T. T. and Dukas, R. 2012. The Evolution of Cognitive Search. pp 11-24 in: In: Cognitive Search: Evolution, Algorithms, and the Brain (Ed. By Todd P. M., Hills, T. T., Robbins T. W.). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press (Ernst Strüngmann Forum).

Hutchinson, J. M. C. Stephens D. W., Bateson M., Couzin I., Dukas R., Giraldeau L., Hills T. T., Mery, F. and Winterhalder, B. 2012. Evolution of Search, Adaptation and Phylogeny. pp 47-65 in:  Cognitive Search: Evolution, Algorithms, and the Brain (Ed. By Todd P. M., Hills, T. T., Robbins T. W.). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Dukas, R., Durisko, Z. & Dukas, L. 2012. Learning in the context of sexual behavior and danger in female and male Drosophila pseudoobscura. Animal Behaviour 83: 95-101

Dukas, R. and Dukas, L. 2011. Coping with non-repairable body damage: effects of wing damage on foraging performance in bees. Animal Behaviour 81: 635-638.

Seeley, C. and Dukas, R. 2011. Teneral matings in fruit flies: male coercion and female response. Animal Behaviour 81: 595-601

Abbott, K. R. and Dukas, R. 2011. Effects of animal camouflage on the evolution of live backgrounds. pp. 275-297  In: Animal camouflage (Ed. by M. Stevens, & S. Merilaita). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Durisko, Z., Shipp, L., Dukas, R. 2011. Effects of experience on short and long term performance in bumblebees. Ethology 117: 49-55.

Dukas, R. 2010. Social learning in insects. Encyclopedia of Animal Behavior (Ed by M. Breed and J. Moore). Elsevier.

Dukas, R. 2010. Causes and consequences of male-male courtship in fruit flies. Animal Behaviour 80:913-919.

Abbott, K. R. 2010. Background evolution in camouflage systems: a predator- prey / pollinator-flower game. Journal of Theoretical Biology 262:662-678.

Schippers, M.-P., R. Dukas, and G.B. McClelland. 2010. Lifetime changes in flight metabolic rate and muscle biochemistry of honeybees, Apis mellifera. Journal of Comparative Physiology – B 180:45-55.

Cognitive Ecology II. 2009. Edited by R. Dukas and J. M. Ratcliffe.  University of Chicago Press.

Sarin, S. & Dukas, R. 2009. Social learning about egg laying substrates in fruit flies. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B-Biological Sciences 276:4323-4328.

Kujtan, L. & Dukas, R. 2009. Learning magnifies individual variation in heterospecific mating propensity. Animal Behaviour 78:549-554.

Abbott, K. R. & Dukas, R. 2009. Honeybees consider flower danger in their waggle dance. Animal Behaviour 78:633-635

Dukas, R & Simpson, S. J. 2009. Locust show rapid individual learning but no social learning about food. Animal Behaviour 78:307-311.

Dukas, R. 2009. Learning: Mechanisms, Ecology and Evolution. pp. 7-26 in: Cognitive Ecology II (Ed. by R.  Dukas and J. Ratcliffe,). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Lange, A. & Dukas, R. 2009. Bayesian approximations and extensions: Optimal decisions for small brains and possibly big ones too. Journal of Theoretical Biology 259:503-515.

Dukas, R. 2009. Dynamics of learning in the context of courtship in Drosophila persimilis and D. pseudoobscura. Animal Behaviour 77: 253-259.

Dukas, R. 2009. Evolutionary biology of limited attention. pp. 147-161 In: L. Tommasi L. Nadel, and M. Peterson (eds) Cognitive Biology: Evolutionary and Developmental Perspectives on Mind, Brain, and Behavior. MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass.

Dukas, R. 2008. Learning increases assortative courtship and mating in fruit flies. Biology Letters: 4:645-647.

Dukas, R. 2008. Life history of learning: performance curves of honeybees in the wild. Ethology 114:1195-1200.

Dukas, R. 2008. Bee senescence in the wild. Insectes Sociaux 55:252-255.

Dukas, R. 2008. Life history of learning: short and long term performance curves of honeybees in settings that minimize the role of learning. Animal Behaviour 75:1125-1130.

Dukas, R. 2008. Evolutionary biology of insect learning. Annual Review of Entomology 53:145-160

Dukas, R., Clark, C.W. and Abbott, K. 2006 Courtship strategies of male insects: when is learning advantageous? Animal Behaviour 72:1395-1404.

Abbott KR. 2006. Bumblebees avoid flowers containing evidence of past predation events. Canadian Journal of Zoology 84:1240-47

Schippers, M.-P., R. Dukas, R.W. Smith, J. Wang , K. Smolen, and G.B. McClelland. 2006. Lifetime performance in foraging honey bees: behaviour and physiology. Journal of Experimental Biology 209: 3828-3836

Dukas, R. 2006. Learning in the context of sexual behavior in insects. Animal Biology 56:125-141.

Dukas, R. 2005.  Learning affects mate choice in female fruit flies. Behavioral Ecology 16: 800-804.

Dukas, R., Morse, D. H. & Myles, S. 2005.  Experience levels of individuals in natural bee populations and their ecological implications. Canadian Journal of Zoology 83: 492-497.

Dukas, R. & Morse, D. H. 2005. Crab spiders show mixed effects on flower visiting bees and no effect on plant fitness. Ecoscience 12: 244-247.

Dukas R.  2005. Bumblebee predators reduce bumblebee density and plant fitness. Ecology 86: 1401-6.

Dukas, R.  2005.  Experience improves courtship in male fruit flies. Animal Behaviour 69:1203-1209.

Dukas, R. 2004. Evolutionary biology of animal cognition. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics, 35: 347-374   Abstract

Dukas, R. 2004. Male fruit flies learn to avoid interspecific courtship. Behavioral Ecology 15:695-8 Abstract Reprint

Dukas, R. 2004. Causes and consequences of limited attention. Brain Behavior and Evolution 63:197-210 Abstract Reprint

Dukas, R. & Mooers, A. Q. 2003. Environmental enrichment improves mating success in fruit flies. Animal Behaviour 66:741-749 Abstract     Reprint

Clark, C.W., and Dukas, R. 2003. The behavioral ecology of a cognitive constraint: limited attention. Behavioral Ecology 14:151-156 AbstractReprint

Dukas R, Morse, D.H. 2003. Crab spiders affect flower visitation by bees. Oikos 101:157-163 Abstract, Reprint

Dukas  R, 2002. Behavioural and ecological consequences of limited attention. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. B. 1539-1548. Abstract Reprint

Dukas, R. 2001. Effects of perceived danger on flower choice by bees. Ecology Letters 4:327-333. Abstract   Reprint

Dukas, R., Prokopy, R. J. & Duan, J. J. 2001. Effects of larval competition on survival and growth in Mediterranean fruit flies. Ecological Entomology 26:587-593.

Dukas, R. 2001. Effects of predation risk on pollinators and plants. pp. 214-236 In: Cognitive Ecology of Pollination (Ed. by L. Chittka and J. Thomson). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Introduction and Conclusions

Dukas, R. and Kamil, A.  2001.  Limited attention: the constraint underlining search image. Behavioral Ecology 12:192-199. Abstract   Reprint

Dukas, R. and Bernays, E.A. 2000. Learning improves growth rate in grasshoppers. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 97: 2637-40 Abstract.   Reprint.

Dukas, R. and Kamil, A. 2000. The cost of limited attention in blue jays. Behavioral Ecology  11: 502-6 Abstract.   Reprint

Dukas, R. and Duan, J.J. 2000. Fitness consequences of associative learning in a parasitoid wasp. Behavioral Ecology  11: 536-43 Abstract

Dukas, R. 1999. Costs of memory: ideas and predictions. Journal of Theoretical Biology 197: 41-50. Abstract

Dukas, R. 1999. Ecological relevance of associative learning in fruit fly larvae Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 45:195-200.  Abstract

Robinson, B. and Dukas, R. 1999. Phenotypic plasticity and evolution 100 years after Baldwin. Oikos 85:582-589

Dukas, R. and Keshet, L.1998. The spatial distribution of colonial food provisioners. Journal of Theoretical Biology 190: 121-134. Abstract

Dukas, R.1998. Evolutionary ecology of learning. pp. 129-174  In: Cognitive Ecology: The Evolutionary Ecology of Information Processing and Decision Making (Ed. by R. Dukas). Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Summary

Dukas, R. 1998. Constraints on information processing and their effects on behavior. pp. 89-127  In: Cognitive Ecology (Ed. by R. Dukas) . Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Summary

Dukas, R. 1998. Introduction. pp. 1-19, in: Cognitive Ecology: The Evolutionary Ecology of  Information Processing and Decision Making (Ed. by R. Dukas). Chicago:  University of Chicago Press.

Dukas, R. and Clark, C.W. 1995. Sustained vigilance and animal performance. Animal Behaviour 49:1259-1267.    Reprint

Dukas, R. and Clark, C.W. 1995. Searching for cryptic prey: a dynamic model. Ecology 76:1320-1326.  

Dukas R. and Visscher, P.K. 1994. Lifetime learning by foraging honey bees. Animal Behaviour 48:1007-1012.  Reprint

Clark, C.W. and Dukas, R. 1994. Foraging under predation hazard: an advantage of sociality. American Naturalist 144:542-548.

Dukas, R. and Real A. L. 1993. Learning constraints and floral choice behaviour in bumble bees. Animal Behaviour 46:637-644.

Dukas, R. and Ellner, S. 1993. Information processing and prey detection. Ecology 74:1337- 1346.

Dukas, R. and Real A. L. 1993 Effects of recent experience on foraging decisions in bumble bees. Oecologia 94:244-246

Dukas, R. and Real A. L. 1991. Learning foraging tasks by bees: a comparison between social and solitary species. Animal Behaviour 42:169-176

Cohen, D., and Dukas, R. 1990. The optimal number of female flowers and the fruits-to-flowers ratio in plants under pollination and resources limitation. American Naturalist 135:218-241.


Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour, McMaster University
Updated March 29, 2023 07:10 AM