Dr William Hoppitt

Senior Lecturer in Zoology

Location: OPT 013
Telephone: +44 (0)845 196 2270 or +44 (0)1223 692270
Email: william.hoppitt@anglia.ac.uk


PhD in Zoology, Cambridge University
MSc in Integrative Biosciences, Distinction, Oxford University
BA in Biological Science, First Class, Oxford University
BSc in Mathematics and Statistics, First Class, Open University
Graduate Diploma, Distinction, Royal Statistical Society

Teaching experience

Module Leader for: Animal Behaviour in Context, Special Topics in Animal Behaviour and Foundation Mathematics for Science.

Other modules: Technology and Techniques in Animal Behaviour, Behavioural Ecology and Conservation, Mammalogy, Behavioural Ecology, Concepts in Animal Behaviour, Biomeasurement, Biological Basis of Behaviour, Core Biology and Preparation for Research.

Research interests

I am a member of the Animal and Environment Research Group in the Department of Life Sciences.

My primary research interest is currently the development of statistical methods to detect social transmission of behavioural traits in groups of animals, and the application of these methods to data from groups of wild and captive animals. I am involved in a large number of projects with collaborators across the globe to apply these methods to field data.

Of particular note: I am an external collaborator and co-applicant (as research co-investigator) on a BBSRC grant, entitled 'Understanding and predicting the diffusion of innovations in animal populations' awarded to the Prof Kevin Laland at St Andrews University (Nov 2011-Oct 2014).

I am also co-applicant on a grant awarded to Dr Christine Schwab, at the University of Vienna, by the Vienna Science & Technology Fund, entitled 'Modelling social learning transmission: how relationships, group size and group structure influence social learning in wild and captive corvids' (Feb 2012-Jan 2015).


Laland, K. N., Hoppitt, W., Odling-Smee, J., & Uller, T. (2013). More on how and why: Cause and effect in biology revisited. Biology and Philosophy, 28(5), 719-745. doi:10.1007/s10539-012-9335-1

Laland, K. N., Hoppitt, W., Odling-Smee, J., & Uller, T. (2013). More on how and why: A response to commentaries. Biology and Philosophy, 28(5), 793-810. doi:10.1007/s10539-013-9380-4

Claidière, N., Messer, E. J., Hoppitt, W., & Whiten, A. (2013). Diffusion dynamics of socially learned foraging techniques in squirrel monkeys.. Curr Biol, 23(13), 1251-1255. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2013.05.036

Allen, J., Weinrich, M., Hoppitt, W., & Rendell, L. (2013). Network-based diffusion analysis reveals cultural transmission of lobtail feeding in humpback whales.. Science, 340(6131), 485-488. doi:10.1126/science.1231976

Webster, M. M., Atton, N., Hoppitt, W. J. E., & Laland, K. N. (2013). Environmental complexity influences association network structure and network-based diffusion of foraging information in fish shoals. American Naturalist, 181(2), 235-244. doi:10.1086/668825

Laland, K. N., Hoppitt, W., Odling-Smee, J., & Uller, T. (2012). More on how and why: cause and effect in biology revisited. Biology and Philosophy, 1-27. doi:10.1007/s10539-012-9335-1

Atton, N., Hoppitt, W., Webster, M. M., Galef, B. G., & Laland, K. N. (2012). Information flow through threespine stickleback networks without social transmission.. Proc Biol Sci, 279(1745), 4272-4278. doi:10.1098/rspb.2012.1462

Caesar, C., Byrne, R. W., Hoppitt, W., Young, R. J., & Zuberbuehler, K. (2012). Evidence for semantic communication in titi monkey alarm calls. ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR, 84(2), 405-411. doi:10.1016/j.anbehav.2012.05.010

Morgan, T. J., Rendell, L. E., Ehn, M., Hoppitt, W., & Laland, K. N. (2012). The evolutionary basis of human social learning.. Proc Biol Sci, 279(1729), 653-662. doi:10.1098/rspb.2011.1172

Hoppitt, W., Samson, J., Laland, K. N., & Thornton, A. (2012). Identification of learning mechanisms in a wild meerkat population.. PLoS One, 7(8), e42044. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0042044

Laland, K. N., Sterelny, K., Odling-Smee, J., Hoppitt, W., & Uller, T. (2011). Cause and effect in biology revisited: is Mayr's proximate-ultimate dichotomy still useful?. Science, 334(6062), 1512-1516. doi:10.1126/science.1210879

Dean, L. G., Hoppitt, W., Laland, K. N., & Kendal, R. L. (2011). Sex ratio affects sex-specific innovation and learning in captive ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata and Varecia rubra).. Am J Primatol, 73(12), 1210-1221. doi:10.1002/ajp.20991

Hoppitt, W., & Laland, K. N. (2011). Detecting social learning using networks: a users guide.. Am J Primatol, 73(8), 834-844. doi:10.1002/ajp.20920

Rendell, L., Fogarty, L., Hoppitt, W. J. E., Morgan, T. J. H., Webster, M. M., & Laland, K. N. (2011). Cognitive culture: theoretical and empirical insights into social learning strategies. TRENDS IN COGNITIVE SCIENCES, 15(2), 68-76. doi:10.1016/j.tics.2010.12.002

Hoppitt, W., Kandler, A., Kendal, J. R., & Laland, K. N. (2010). The effect of task structure on diffusion dynamics: Implications for diffusion curve and network-based analyses.. Learn Behav, 38(3), 243-251. doi:10.3758/LB.38.3.243

Hoppitt, W., Boogert, N. J., & Laland, K. N. (2010). Detecting social transmission in networks.. J Theor Biol, 263(4), 544-555. doi:10.1016/j.jtbi.2010.01.004

Kendal, R. L., Kendal, J. R., Hoppitt, W., & Laland, K. N. (2009). Identifying social learning in animal populations: a new 'option-bias' method.. PLoS One, 4(8), e6541. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0006541

Hoppitt, W., & Laland, K. N. (2008). Social processes affecting feeding and drinking in the domestic fowl. ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR, 76, 1529-1543. doi:10.1016/j.anbehav.2008.07.011

Hoppitt, W. J. E., Brown, G. R., Kendal, R., Rendell, L., Thornton, A., Webster, M. M., . . . Laland, K. N. (2008). Lessons from animal teaching. TRENDS IN ECOLOGY & EVOLUTION, 23(9), 486-493. doi:10.1016/j.tree.2008.05.008

Boogert, N. J., Reader, S. M., Hoppitt, W., & Laland, K. N. (2008). The origin and spread of innovations in starlings. ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR, 75, 1509-1518. doi:10.1016/j.anbehav.2007.09.033

Hoppitt, W., & Laland, K. N. (2008). Social processes influencing learning in animals: A review of the evidence. ADVANCES IN THE STUDY OF BEHAVIOR, VOL 38, 38, 105-165. doi:10.1016/S0065-3454(08)00003-X

Rendell, L., Hoppitt, W., & Kendall, J. (2007). Is all learning innovation?. BEHAVIORAL AND BRAIN SCIENCES, 30(4), 421-422. doi:10.1017/S0140525X0700252X

Hoppitt, W., Blackburn, L., & Laland, K. N. (2007). Response facilitation in the domestic fowl. ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR, 73, 229-238. doi:10.1016/j.anbehav.2006.05.013

Bunce, M., Worthy, T. H., Ford, T., Hoppitt, W., Willerslev, E., Drummond, A., Cooper, A. (2003). Extreme reversed sexual size dimorphism in the extinct New Zealand moa Dinornis.. Nature, 425(6954), 172-175. doi:10.1038/nature01871

Laland, K. N., & Hoppitt, W. (2003). Do animals have culture?. EVOLUTIONARY ANTHROPOLOGY, 12(3), 150-159. doi:10.1002/evan.10111

Princeton University Press

Social Learning: An Introduction to Mechanisms, Methods, and Models
William Hoppitt & Kevin N. Laland

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Read chapter 1 of Social Learning by William Hoppitt and Keith Laland

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