Dr. Amy Leedale

School of Science, Engineering and Environment

Photo of Dr. Amy Leedale

Contact Details

Peel Building, Room G30

Please email for an appointment.




Current positions

Lecturer in Zoology


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

Behavioural ecology, Cooperative breeding, Ornithology, Bioacoustics

Areas of supervision

Behavioural ecology, Social evolution, Reproductive strategies, Cooperative breeding, Inbreeding, Ornithology, Bioacoustics


I contribute to a series of modules, including Wildlife Behavioural Ecology, Animal Behaviour, Practical Ecology and Conservation, Conservation in Zoos and Study and Research Skills.

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

Research Interests

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.

Qualifications and Memberships


  • Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy