Dr Rachel Grant



Rachel has conducted extensive research and consulted on the effects of geophysical and geochemical changes on animal behaviour and ecology.


Rachel has worked at Oxford University's Department of Zoology and the Scott Polar Research Institute in Cambridge. She leads our modules Concepts in Animal Behaviour, and Applied Ethology and Animal Welfare, as well as teaching on the Masters module Technology and Techniques in Animal Behaviour.

Research interests

  • Interactions between the lithosphere, ionosphere and biosphere, in particular the effects of geophysical and geochemical changes on animal behaviour and ecology
  • The effects of lunar phases on amphibian reproduction
  • Lithosphere-ionosphere coupling in the earthquake preparation zone and effects on biota
  • Biogeochemistry of the earthquake preparation zone and effects of ULF electromagnetic radiation on protein biochemistry. 


BSc (Hons) Animal Behaviour, MSc Animal Behaviour Applications for Conservation

Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange

  • Consultant, unusual animal behaviour prior to large earthquakes
  • Consultant, behaviour 'problems' in captive parrots and other caged birds

Selected recent publications

Grant, R.A. and Conlan, H., 2013. Frog swarms; earthquake precursors or false alarms? Animals, 3(4), pp.962-977.

Gunn, J., Hawkins, D., Barnes, R., Mofulu, F., Grant, R.A., and Norton, G.W., 2013. The influence of lunar cycles on crop?raiding elephants; evidence for risk avoidance. African Journal of Ecology.

Grant, R.A., Halliday, T.R., and Chadwick, E.A., 2012. Amphibians' response to the lunar synodic cycle; a review of current knowledge, recommendations and implications for conservation. Behavioral Ecology, 24(1), pp.53-62.

Arnfield, H., Grant, R., Monk, C., and Uller, T., 2012. Factors influencing the timing of spring migration in common toads (Bufo bufo). Journal of Zoology.

Grant, R.A, Halliday, T., Newcomer, M., Balderer, W.P., Leuenberger, F. and Freund, F.T., 2011. Ground Water Chemistry Changes before Major Earthquakes and Possible Effects on Animals. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, 8, pp.1936-1956.

Grant, R.A. and Halliday, T.R., 2011. Cannibalism in Hyla intermedia tadpoles. Herpetological Review, 42(1), p.86.

Grant, R.A. and Halliday, T.R., 2010. Predicting the unpredictable; evidence for seismic anticipatory behaviour in the common toad. J Zoology, 281, pp.263-271.

Grant, R.A., Griffiths, H.J., Steinke, D., Wadley, V., and Linse, K., 2011. Antarctic DNA Barcoding; a drop in the ocean? Polar Biology, 34(5), p.775.

Allcock, L. and Grant, R.A., 2011. Bipolarity in marine invertebrates; myth or marvel. Submitted to PLoS ONE.

Dettai, A. and Grant, R.A., 2011. Barcoding and molecular systematics of the benthic and demersal organisms of CEAMARC. Polar Science, 5(2), pp.298-312.

Recent presentations and conferences

Grant, R. A., Raulin, J.P., and Freund, F.T., 2013. Camera trap records of animal activity prior to a M=7 earthquake in Northern Peru. Oral presentation at the American Geosciences Union Fall Meeting, California, December 2013.

Grant, R.A. and Conlan, H., 2013. Behavioural response in subterranean and semi-aquatic invertebrates following experimental simulation of pre-seismic changes. EGU General Assembly Conference Abstracts, 15, 13863.