Dr Amy Leedale

School of Science, Engineering & Environment

Photo of Dr Amy Leedale

Contact Details

Room 332
Peel Building
University of Salford
M5 4WT

Current positions



I graduated from the University of Leeds with a First Class honours degree in Biology. I later received a Masters degree with Distinction in Animal Behaviour from Manchester Metropolitan University, where I investigated the function of bird song in blackcaps Sylvia atricapilla. I was awarded a NERC-funded PhD from the University of Sheffield in 2018, studying kin recognition in a population of long-tailed tits Aegithalos caudatus in the peak district, UK.

Upon completion of my PhD, I spent some time as a Teaching Associate in Animal Science at the University of Nottingham, and an Associate Lecturer in Animal Behaviour at Manchester Metropolitan University, before taking a postdoctoral research position at the University of Cambridge. My postdoctoral work broadly investigated aspects of social and reproductive behaviour in cooperatively breeding meerkats Suricata suricatta and Damaraland mole-rats Fukomys damarensis in the Kalahari Desert, South Africa.

I was employed as a Lecturer in Ecology and Conservation Biology at Liverpool Hope University, where I pursued my interests in cooperative breeding and bioacoustics, before my appointment as a Lecturer in Zoology at the University of Salford in November 2022.

Areas of Research

I am a behavioural ecologist with a broad interest in cooperation and reproductive behaviour. I aim to combine field observations, bioacoustics and molecular genetics to address evolutionary questions in natural populations. I primarily work with birds and mammals, and I am particularly interested in social organisation and communication in group-living species. Much of my research focuses on how social vertebrates recognise their relatives in the contexts of cooperation and inbreeding.

Areas of Supervision

Behavioural ecology, Animal behaviour, Social evolution, Reproductive strategies, Cooperative breeding, Kin recognition, Inbreeding, Ornithology, Bioacoustics


I contribute to a series of modules, including Wildlife Behavioural Ecology, Introduction to Animal Behaviour, Practical Ecology and Conservation, Bird Biology and Conservation, Conservation in Zoos, Biodiversity, Research Skills and Diving for Marine Conservation.

I supervise students interested in using field observations and experiments to address evolutionary questions, particularly in the contexts of social and reproductive behaviour.

Qualifications and Recognitions

  • PhD in Behavioural Ecology

    2014 - 2018
  • MSc Animal Behaviour (with Distinction)

    2011 - 2013
  • BSc (Hons) Biology (First Class)

    2006 - 2009