Faculty of Biological Sciences

Dr William Hoppitt

Lecturer in Zoology
School of Biology

Contact:  Manton 8.03, +44(0) 113 34 32852, email address for  

You can read more about Dr Hoppitt's interests here:

My main research is on the topic of social learning (learning from others): an interdisciplinary topic of interest to psychology, social anthropology, human evolution, economics, cognitive neuroscience, artificial intelligence and zoology. My own research primarily concerns the development of statistical methods to study social learning in groups of animals, and the application of these methods to data from groups of animals. Whilst my aims are primarily zoological, the techniques I am developing are potentially of relevance to researchers in a broad range of disciplines.


Faculty Research and Innovation

Modules managed

BLGY1300 - Coastal and Upland Habitats Field Course
BLGY3243 - Advanced Topics in Zoology

Modules taught

BLGY1124/1128 - The Diversity of Life/Living Planet
BLGY1300 - Coastal and Upland Habitats Field Course
BLGY1303 - Tutorials for Biology and Genetics
BLGY2100 - Enhanced Study Skills for Biologists
BLGY2222 - Animal Behaviour
BLGY3135 - Advanced Topics in Behaviour: from sex to death
BLGY3243 - Advanced Topics in Zoology
BLGY3345 - Biology Integrated Research Projects
BLGY3395 - Advanced Research Skills and Experience
BLGY3396 - Research Literature Review


Carrie Easter (Primary supervisor) 50% FTE
Sonja Wild (Primary supervisor) 70% FTE
Ruth Jeavons (Co-supervisor) 25% FTE

Hoppitt W The conceptual foundations of network-based diffusion analysis: Choosing networks and interpreting results Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 372 -, 2017
View abstract

Reynolds MP, Pask AJD, Hoppitt WJE, Sonder K, Sukumaran S, Molero G, Pierre CS, Payne T, Singh RP, Braun HJ, Gonzalez FG, Terrile II, Barma NCD, Hakim A, He Z, Fan Z, Novoselovic D, Maghraby M, Gad KIM, Galal EG, Hagras A, Mohamed MM, Morad AFA, Kumar U, Singh GP, Naik R, Kalappanavar IK, Biradar S, Sai Prasad SV, Chatrath R, Sharma I, Panchabhai K, Sohu VS, Mavi GS, Mishra VK, Balasubramaniam A, Jalal-Kamali MR, Khodarahmi M, Dastfal M, Tabib-Ghaffari SM, Jafarby J, Nikzad AR, Moghaddam HA, Ghojogh H, Mehraban A, Solís-Moya E, Camacho-Casas MA, Figueroa-López P, Ireta-Moreno J, Alvarado-Padilla JI, Borbón-Gracia A, Torres A, Quiche YN, Upadhyay SR, Pandey D, Imtiaz M, Rehman MU, Hussain M, Hussain M, Ud-Din R, Qamar M, Kundi M, Mujahid MY, Ahmad G, Khan AJ, Sial MA, Mustatea P, von Well E, Ncala M, de GrootS, Hussein AHA, Tahir ISA, Idris AAM, Elamein HMM, Manes Y, Joshi AK Strategic crossing of biomass and harvest index—source and sink—achieves genetic gains in wheat Euphytica 213 -, 2017
View abstract

Pattrick JG, Shepherd T, Hoppitt W, Plowman NS, Willmer P A dual function for 4-methoxybenzaldehyde in Petasites fragrans? Pollinator-attractant and ant-repellent Arthropod-Plant Interactions 11 623-627, 2017
View abstract

Ladds Z, Hoppitt W, Boogert NJ Social learning in otters Royal Society Open Science 4 -, 2017
View abstract

Howard M, Hoppitt W Ospreys do not teach offspring how to kill prey at the nest Biology Letters 13 -, 2017
View abstract

Ross SRPJ, Hassall C, Hoppitt WJE, Edwards FA, Edwards DP, Hamer KC Incorporating intraspecific trait variation into functional diversity: Impacts of selective logging on birds in Borneo Methods in Ecology and Evolution -, 2017
View abstract

Hoppitt WJE, Farine DR Association indices for quantifying social relationships: How to deal with missing observations of individuals or groups Animal Behaviour -, 2017
View abstract

Williams I, Hoppitt W, Grant R The effect of auditory enrichment, rearing method and social environment on the behavior of zoo-housed psittacines (Aves: Psittaciformes); implications for welfare Applied Animal Behaviour Science 186 85-92, 2017
View abstract

Kulahci IG, Rubenstein DI, Bugnyar T, Hoppitt W, Mikus N, Schwab C Social networks predict selective observation and information spread in ravens Royal Society Open Science 3 -, 2016
View abstract

Logan CJ, Breen AJ, Taylor AH, Gray RD, Hoppitt WJE How New Caledonian crows solve novel foraging problems and what it means for cumulative culture. Learn Behav 44 18-28, 2016
View abstract

Whalen A, Hoppitt WJE Bayesian model selection with Network Based Diffusion Analysis Frontiers in Psychology 7 -, 2016
View abstract

Nightingale GF, Laland KN, Hoppitt W, Nightingale P Bayesian Spatial NBDA for Diffusion Data with Home-Base Coordinates PLOS ONE 10 -, 2015
View abstract

Farine DR, Aplin LM, Sheldon BC, Hoppitt W Interspecific social networks promote information transmission in wild songbirds Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society 282 20142804-, 2015
View abstract

Kendal R, Hopper LM, Whiten A, Brosnan SF, Lambeth SP, Schapiro SJ, Hoppitt W Chimpanzees copy dominant and knowledgeable individuals: Implications for cultural diversity Evolution and Human Behavior 36 65-72, 2015
View abstract

Nightingale G, Boogert NJ, Laland KN, Hoppitt W Quantifying diffusion in social networks: a Bayesian approach ANIMAL SOCIAL NETWORKS 38-52, 2015

Gruber T, Poisot T, Zuberbühler K, Hoppitt W, Hobaiter C The spread of a novel behavior in wild chimpanzees: New insights into the ape cultural mind Communicative and Integrative Biology 8 1-3, 2015
View abstract

Pask A, Joshi AK, Manes Y, Sharma I, Chatrath R, Singh GP, Sohu VS, Mavi GS, Sakuru VSP, Kalappanavar IK, Mishra VK, Arun B, Mujahid MY, Hussain M, Gautam NR, Barma NCD, Hakim A, Hoppitt W, Trethowan R, Reynolds MP A wheat phenotyping network to incorporate physiological traits for climate change in South Asia FIELD CROPS RESEARCH 168 156-167, 2014

Boogert NJ, Nightingale GF, Hoppitt W, Laland KN Perching but not foraging networks predict the spread of novel foraging skills in starlings Behavioural Processes 109 135-144, 2014
View abstract

Atton N, Galef BJ, Hoppitt W, Webster MM, Laland KN Familiarity affects social network structure and discovery of prey patch locations in foraging stickleback shoals Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 281 -, 2014
View abstract

Hobaiter C, Poisot T, Zuberbühler K, Hoppitt W, Gruber T Social Network Analysis Shows Direct Evidence for Social Transmission of Tool Use in Wild Chimpanzees PLoS Biology 12 -, 2014
View abstract

Laland KN, Odling-Smee J, Hoppitt W, Uller T More on how and why: A response to commentaries Biology and Philosophy 28 793-810, 2013
View abstract

Laland KN, Odling-Smee J, Hoppitt W, Uller T More on how and why: Cause and effect in biology revisited Biology and Philosophy 28 719-745, 2013
View abstract

Claidière N, Messer EJE, Hoppitt W, Whiten A Diffusion dynamics of socially learned foraging techniques in squirrel monkeys Current Biology 23 1251-1255, 2013
View abstract

Hoppitt W, Laland KN Social learning: An introduction to mechanisms, methods, and models, 2013
View abstract

Allen J, Weinrich M, Hoppitt W, Rendell L Network-based diffusion analysis reveals cultural transmission of lobtail feeding in humpback whales Science 340 485-488, 2013
View abstract

Webster MM, Atton N, Hoppitt WJE, Laland KN Environmental complexity influences association network structure and network-based diffusion of foraging information in fish shoals American Naturalist 181 235-244, 2013
View abstract

Atton N, Hoppitt W, Webster MM, Galef BG, Laland KN Information flow through three spine stickleback networks without social transmission Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 279 4272-4278, 2012
View abstract

Laland KN, Dean L, Hoppitt W, Rendell L, Webster MM Social LearningStrategies, Mechanisms, and Models In The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Cognition , 2012
View abstract

Hoppitt W, Samson J, Laland KN, Thornton A Identification of learning mechanisms in a wild Meerkat population PLoS ONE 7 -, 2012
View abstract

Cäsar C, Byrne RW, Hoppitt W, Young RJ, Zuberbühler K Evidence for semantic communication in titi monkey alarm calls Animal Behaviour 84 405-411, 2012
View abstract

Morgan TJH, Rendell LE, Ehn M, Hoppitt W, Laland KN The evolutionary basis of human social learning Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 279 653-662, 2012
View abstract

Laland KN, Sterelny K, Odling-Smee J, Hoppitt W, Uller T Cause and effect in biology revisited: Is Mayr's proximate-ultimate dichotomy still useful? Science 334 1512-1516, 2011
View abstract

Dean LG, Hoppitt W, Laland KN, Kendal RL Sex ratio affects sex-specific innovation and learning in captive ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata and Varecia rubra) American Journal of Primatology 73 1210-1221, 2011
View abstract

Hoppitt W, Laland KN Detecting social learning using networks: A users guide American Journal of Primatology 73 834-844, 2011
View abstract

Rendell L, Fogarty L, Hoppitt WJE, Morgan TJH, Webster MM, Laland KN Cognitive culture: Theoretical and empirical insights into social learning strategies Trends in Cognitive Sciences 15 68-76, 2011
View abstract

Hoppitt W, Kandler A, Kendal JR, Laland KN The effect of task structure on diffusion dynamics: Implications for diffusion curve and network-based analyses LEARNING&BEHAVIOR 38 243-251, 2010

Hoppitt W, Boogert NJ, Laland KN Detecting social transmission in networks Journal of Theoretical Biology 263 544-555, 2010
View abstract

Kendal RL, Kendal JR, Hoppitt W, Laland KN Identifying social learning in animal populations: A new 'option-bias' method PLoS ONE 4 -, 2009
View abstract

Hoppitt W, Laland KN Social processes affecting feeding and drinking in the domestic fowl Animal Behaviour 76 1529-1543, 2008
View abstract

Hoppitt WJE, Brown GR, Kendal R, Rendell L, Thornton A, Webster MM, Laland KN Lessons from animal teaching Trends in Ecology and Evolution 23 486-493, 2008
View abstract

Hoppitt W, Laland KN Chapter 3 Social Processes Influencing Learning in Animals: A Review of the Evidence, 2008

Boogert NJ, Reader SM, Hoppitt W, Laland KN The origin and spread of innovations in starlings Animal Behaviour 75 1509-1518, 2008
View abstract

Hoppitt WJE, Laland KN Social processes influencing learning in animals: A review of the evidence Advances in the Study of Behavior -, 2008

Rendell L, Hoppitt W, Kendal J Is all learning innovation? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 30 421-422, 2007
View abstract

Hoppitt W, Blackburn L, Laland KN Response facilitation in the domestic fowl Animal Behaviour 73 229-238, 2007
View abstract

Laland KN, Hoppitt W Do Animals Have Culture? Evolutionary Anthropology 12 150-159, 2003
View abstract

Bunce M, Worthy TH, Ford T, Hoppitt W, Willerslev E, Drummond A, Cooper A Extreme reversed sexual size dimorphism in the extinct New Zealand moa Dinornis Nature 425 172-175, 2003
View abstract