Navigation

Researchers at UCD

researcher

Benjamin Charlton

Lecturer/Assistant Professor

School Of Biology & Environment Science

Tel:
Email: benjamin.charlton@ucd.ie

Professional

Honours and Awards

Year: 2012.
Title: Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship
           

Employment

Employer: Zoo Atlanta
Position: Postdoctoral researcher
Employer: University of Vienna
Position: Postdoctoral researcher
Employer: University of Sussex
Position: Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellow

Education

Year 2007 Institution: University of Sussex
Qualification: DPhil Subject: Mammal vocal communication and female mate choice
Year 1997 Institution: University of Sussex
Qualification: BSc (First Class Hons) Subject: Biology
         

Publications

 

Book Chapters

Taylor A. M., Charlton B. D. & Reby D. (2016) 'Vocal production by terrestrial mammals: source, filter and function' In: Suthers R, Fitch W. T., Popper A. & Fay D (eds). Vertebrate Sound Production and Acoustic Communication. New York: Springer. , pp.229-259 [DOI] [Details]
Charlton B. D. (2008) 'Female mate choice in nonhuman mammals' In: Weber E.A. & Krause L.H (eds). Animal Behavior: New Research. New York: Nova Science Publishers. , pp.35-56 [Details]
 

Peer Reviewed Journals

Baotic, A; Stoeger, AS; Li, D; Tang, C; & Charlton, BD. (2014) 'The vocal repertoire of infant giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca)'. Bioacoustics, 23 (1):15-28. [DOI] [Details]
Charlton, BD (2014) 'Menstrual cycle phase alters women's sexual preferences for composers of more complex music'. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences, 281 :20140403-20140403. [DOI] [Details]
Charlton, BD (2014) 'Discrimination of sex and reproductive state in koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus) using chemical cues in urine'. Animal Behaviour, 91 :119-125. [DOI] [Details]
Charlton, BD; Wyman, MT; Locatelli, Y; Fitch WT; & Reby, D. (2014) 'Do red deer hinds prefer stags that produce harsh roars in mate choice contexts?'. Zoology, 293 (1):57-62. [DOI] [Details]
Charlton, BD (2014) 'Individuality in the harsh coughs of Southern hairy-nosed wombats (Lasiorhinus latifrons)'. Acta Acustica united with Acustica, 100 (4):719-723. [DOI] [Details]
Townsend SW; Charlton, BD; & Manser, MB (2014) 'Acoustic cues to identity and predator context in meerkat barks'. Animal Behaviour, 94 :143-149. [DOI] [Details]
Wyman, MT; Locatelli, Y; Charlton, BD; & Reby, D. (2014) 'No preference in female sika deer for conspecific over heterospecific male sexual calls in a mate choice context'. Zoology, 293 (2):92-99. [DOI] [Details]
Garcia, M; Wyman, MT; Charlton, BD; Fitch, WT; & Reby, D. (2014) 'Response of red deer stags (Cervus elaphus) to playback of harsh versus common roars'. Naturwissenschaften, 101 (10):851-854. [DOI] [Details]
Garcia, M; Charlton, BD; Wyman, MT; Fitch, WT; & Reby, D. (2013) 'Do red deer stags (Cervus elaphus) use roar fundamental frequency (F0) to assess rivals?'. PLoS ONE, 8 (12):e83946. [DOI] [Details]
Charlton, BD.; Frey, R; McKinnon, AJ; Fritsch, G; Fitch WT; & Reby, D. (2013) 'Koalas use a novel vocal organ to produce unusually low-pitched mating calls'. Current Biology, 23 (23):R1035-1036. [DOI] [Details]
Charlton, BD; Whisson, DA; & Reby, D. (2013) 'Free-ranging male koalas use size-related variation in formant frequencies to assess rival males'. PLoS ONE, 8 (7):e70279. [DOI] [Details]
Charlton, BD; Taylor, AM; & Reby, D. (2013) 'Are men better than women at acoustic size judgments?'. Biology Letters, 9 (4):20130270. [DOI] [Details]
Charlton B. D. (2013) 'Experimental tests of mate choice in nonhuman mammals: the need for an integrative approach'. Journal of Experimental Biology, 216 (7):1127-1130. [DOI] [Details]
Charlton, B. D., Swaisgood, R. R., Zhang, Z., Snyder, R. J. (2012) 'Giant pandas attend to androgen-related variation in male bleats'. Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology, 66 (6):969-974. [Details]
Charlton, B. D., Ellis, W. A. H., & Fitch, W. T. (2012) 'Perception of size-related formant information in male koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus)'. Animal Cognition, 15 (6):999-1006. [Details]
Reby, D. & Charlton, B. D. (2012) 'Attention grabbing in red deer sexual calls'. Animal Cognition, 15 (2):265-270. [Details]
Charlton, B. D., Ellis, W. A. H., Brumm, J., Nilsson, K. & Fitch, W. T. (2012) 'Female koalas prefer bellows in which lower formants indicate larger males'. Animal Behaviour, 84 (6):1565-1571. [Details]
Stoeger, A. S., Heilmann, G., Zeppelzauer, M., Ganswindt, A., Hensman, R. & Charlton, B. D. (2012) 'Visualizing sound emission of elephant vocalizations: evidence for two rumble production types'. PLoS ONE, 7 (11):e48907. [Details]
Charlton, B. D., Reby, D., Ellis, W. A. H., Brumm, J. & Fitch, W. T. (2012) 'Estimating the active space of male koala bellows: propagation of cues to size and identity in a Eucalyptus forest'. PLoS ONE, 7 (9):e45420. [Details]
Stoeger, A. S., Baotic, A., Li, D. & Charlton, B. D. (2012) 'Acoustic features indicate arousal in infant giant panda vocalisations'. Ethology, 118 :896-905. [Details]
Charlton, B. D., Filippi, P., Fitch, W. T. (2012) 'Do women prefer more complex music around ovulation?'. PLoS ONE, 7 (4):e35626. [Details]
Keating, J. L., Brown, T. K., Caine, N. G., Bowles, A. E., Charlton B. D. & Swaisgood R. R. (2011) 'Implications of vocalisations during giant panda breeding'. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 130 (5):2460. [Details]
Charlton, B. D., Ellis, W. A. H., McKinnon, A. J., Cowin, G. J., Brumm, J., Fitch, W. T. (2011) 'Cues to body size in the formant spacing of male koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) bellows: honesty in an exaggerated trait'. Experimental Biology, 214 :3414-3422. [Details]
Charlton, B. D. & Reby, D. (2011) 'Context-related acoustic variation in male fallow deer (Dama dama) groans'. PLoS ONE, 6 (6):e21066. [Details]
Charlton, B. D., Ellis, W. A. H., McKinnon, A. J., Brumm, J., Nilsson, K. & Fitch, W. T. (2011) 'Perception of male caller identity in koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus): acoustic analysis and playback experiments'. PLoS ONE, 6 (5):e20329. [Details]
Charlton, B. D., Keating, J. L., Kersey, D., Rengui, L., Huang, Y. & Swaisgood, R. R. (2011) 'Vocal cues to male androgen levels in giant pandas'. Biology Letters, 7 :71-74. [Details]
Wyman, M. T., Charlton, B. D., Locatelli, Y. & Reby, D. (2011) 'Variability of female responses to conspecific vs. heterospecific male mating calls in polygynous deer: an open door to hybridization?'. PLoS ONE, 6 (8):e23296. [Details]
Stoeger, A. S., Charlton, B. D., Kratochvil, H. & Fitch W. T. (2011) 'Vocal cues indicate level of arousal in infant African elephant roars'. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 130 (3):1700-1710. [Details]
Charlton, B. D., Keating, J. L., Rengui, L., Huang, Y. & Swaisgood, R. R. (2010) 'Female giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) chirps advertise the caller's fertile phase'. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, 277 :1101-1106. [Details]
Reby, D.§, Charlton, B. D.§, Locatelli, Y. & McComb, K. (§joint first authors) (2010) 'Oestrous red deer hinds prefer high-pitched roars'. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, 277 :2747-2753. [Details]
Charlton, B. D., Zhang, Z. & Snyder, R. J. (2010) 'Giant pandas perceive and attend to formant frequency variation in male bleats'. Animal Behaviour, 79 :1221-1227. [Details]
McComb K., & Taylor, A. M., Wilson, C. & Charlton, B. D. (2009) 'The cry embedded within the purr'. Current Biology, 19 :507-508. [Details]
Charlton, B. D., Zhang, Z., Snyder & R. J. (2009) 'Vocal cues to identity and relatedness in giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca)'. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 126 (5):2721-2732. [Details]
Charlton, B. D., Huang, Y. & Swaisgood, R. R. (2009) 'Vocal discrimination of potential mates by female giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca)'. Biology Letters, 5 (5):597-599. [Details]
Charlton, B. D., Zhang, Z. & Snyder, R. J. (2009) 'The information content of giant panda, Ailuropoda melanoleuca, bleats: acoustic cues to sex, age and size'. Animal Behaviour, 78 :893-898. [Details]
Kidjo, N., Cargnelutti, B., Charlton, B. D., Wilson, C. & Reby, D. (2008) 'Vocal behaviour in the endangered Corsican deer, description and phylogenetic implications'. Bioacoustics, 18 (2):159-181. [Details]
Charlton, B. D., McComb, K & Reby, D. (2008) 'Free-ranging red deer hinds show greater attentiveness to roars with formant frequencies typical of young males'. Ethology, 114 :1023-1031. [Details]
Charlton, B. D., Reby, D. & McComb, K. (2008) 'Effect of combined source (F0) and filter (formant) variation on red deer hind responses to male roars'. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 123 (5):2936-2943. [Details]
Charlton, B. D., Reby, D. & McComb, K. (2007) 'Female perception of size-related formant shifts in red deer (Cervus elaphus)'. Animal Behaviour, 74 :707-714. [Details]
Charlton, B. D., Reby, D. & McComb, K. (2007) 'Female red deer prefer the roars of larger callers'. Biology Letters, 3 :382-385. [Details]
                                                                                             

Research

Research Interests

My main line of research focuses on identifying which acoustic parameters of mammal vocal signals can provide listeners with direct information on physical and motivational attributes of the callers. I then use re-synthesis techniques and playback experiments to determine the perceptual and functional relevance of specific acoustic characteristics of mammal vocalisations. I am especially interested in the functions and adaptive value of vocal signals given in reproductive contexts, and have conducted several successful sets of analyses and playback experiments on deer, domestic cats, giant pandas and koalas.  More recently I have branched out to examine chemical communication in koalas and musical preferences in humans.   
 

Highlights of my work include:  

· The discovery that koalas have a specialised vocal organ outside the larynx - the first example in any terrestrial mammal

· The first evidence that formants, crucial components of human speech, play a key role in female mate choice decisions

· The demonstration that men are better than women at acoustic size judgments

· The first empirical evidence for the sexual selection hypothesis of music evolution

· The first example of a descended larynx in a marsupial - an anatomical innovation once thought to be uniquely human

· The first demonstration of a vocal cue to male testosterone levels in a non-human mammal

· The first evidence that female non-human mammal calls can precisely signal the caller's fertile phase