I am a behavioural ecologist, ornithologist and PhD student at the FitzPatrick Institute for African Ornithology, University of Cape Town. I grew up in southern Tanzania and this biodiverse setting nurtured my passion for natural history and field research. I completed my undergraduate studies at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. During this period, I became fascinated in avian brood parasitism, co-evolutionary interactions and avian communication and I have conducted research exploring these topics. After returning to East Africa I worked on biodiversity surveys and aerial surveys of large mammals, while also keeping bees and experimenting with beekeeping techniques.
In 2016 I first went to northern Mozambique’s stunning Niassa Special Reserve for work on an aerial survey. In 2017 I returned to working there – in collaboration with Prof. Claire Spottiswoode – to study the remarkable mutualism between human honey-hunters and the greater honeyguides (Indicator indicator). I have been involved in honeyguide research since then and continue to be inspired by complex species interactions and the challenge of studying them using field experiments. It continues to be a profound privilege spending extended time with people who coexist alongside wildlife inside Niassa’s vast wilderness.
My current focus is on the ecology and economics of human-honeyguide cooperation and in particular, gaining a better understanding of the foraging behaviour and decision-making of both honeyguides and human honey-hunters at the population level. More specifically, I am looking at how the mutualism shifts the costs and benefits of honey-hunting, using spatial data for humans and measuring the rewards (wax, honey) for both parties. I am also testing whether honeyguides learn to recognise cheating honey-hunters, and whether they punish them?
With the help of a honey-hunting community I am collecting a wide range of data on natural honey-hunting journeys and their payoffs. I am trying to discover whether humans learn to recognise unskilled honeyguides, and whether they avoid them? I am also investigating questions relating to honeyguide-human communication, and the ecosystem effects of honey-hunting at a landscape level. Our multi-year dataset enables us to ask how honeyguides change human movement and foraging patterns.
- van der Wal, J.E.M., Afan, A.I., Anyawire, M., Begg, C.M., Begg, K.S., Dabo, G.A., Gedi, I.I., Harris, J.A., Isack, H.A., Ibrahim, J.I., Jamie, G.A., Kamboe, W.-B.W., Kilawi, A.O., Kingston, A., Laltaika, E.A., Lloyd-Jones, D.J., M’manga, G.M., Muhammad, N.Z., Ngcamphalala, C.A., Nhlabatsi, S.O., Oleleteyo, T.T., Sanda, M., Tsamkxao, L., Wood, B.M., Spottiswoode, C.N., Cram, D.L. 2023 Do honey badgers and greater honeyguide birds cooperate to access bees’ nests? Ecological evidence and honey-hunter accounts. Journal of Zoology 321: 22-32 https://doi.org/10.1111/jzo.13093 Read abstract in English and Kiswahili here
- Lloyd-Jones, D.J., St Clair, J.J., Cram, D. L., Yassene, O., van der Wal, J.E. and Spottiswoode, C.N. 2022. When wax wanes: competitors for beeswax stabilize rather than jeopardize the honeyguide–human mutualism. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 289, 20221443.
- Spottiswoode, C.N., & Lund, J. & Lloyd-Jones, D.J. 2022 Quick Guide: Honeyguides. Current Biology 32: R1072-R107
- Torney, C. J., Laxton, M., Lloyd-Jones, D. J., Kohi, E. M., Frederick, H. L., Moyer, D. C., Mrisha, C., Mwita, M., & Hopcraft, J. G. C. 2022. Estimating the abundance of a group-living species using multi-latent spatial models. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 00, 1–10.
- Cram, D.L., van der Wal, J.E.M., Uomini, N.T., Cantor, M., Afan, A.I., Attwood, M.C., Amphaeris, J., Balasani, F., Blair, C.J., Bronstein, J.L., Buanachique, I.O., Cuthill, R.R.T., Das, J., Daura-Jorge, F.G., Deb, A., Dixit, T., Dlamini, G.S., Dounias, E., Gedi, I.I., Gruber, M., Hoffman, L.S., Holzlehner, T., Isack, H.A., Laltaika, A.E., Lloyd-Jones, D.J., Lund, J., Machado, A.M.S., Mahadevan, L., Moreno, I.B., Nwaogu, C.J., Pereira, V.L., Pierotti, R., Rucunua, S.A., dos Santos, W.F., Serpa, N., Smith, B.D., Sridhar, H., Tolkova, I., Tun, T., Valle-Pereira, J.V.S., Wood, B.M., Wrangham, R.W. & Spottiswoode, C.N. 2022 The ecology and evolution of human-wildlife cooperation. People and Nature DOI: 10.1002/pan3.10369 Read abstract in English, Portuguese and Kiswahili here
- van der Wal, J.E.M., Spottiswoode, C.N., Uomini, N.T., Cantor, M., Daura-Jorge, F.G., Afan, A.I., Attwood, M.C., Amphaeris, J., Balasani, F., Begg, C.M., Blair, C.J., Bronstein, J.L., Buanachique, I.O., Cuthill, R.R.T., Das, J., Deb, A., Dixit, T., Dlamini, G.S., Dounias, E., Gedi, I.I., Gruber, M., Hoffman, L.S., Holzlehner, T., Isack, H.A., Laltaika, A.E., Lloyd-Jones, D.J., Lund, J., Machado, A.M.S., Mahadevan, L., Moreno, I.B., Nwaogu, C.J., Pereira, V.L., Pierotti, R., Rucunua, S.A., dos Santos, W.F., Serpa, N., Smith, B.D., Tolkova, I., Tun, T., Valle-Pereira, J.V.S., Wood, B.M., Wrangham, R.W. & Cram, D.L. 2022 Safeguarding human-wildlife cooperation. Conservation Letters e12886 Read abstract in English, Portuguese and Kiswahili here
- Torney, C.J.*, Lloyd-Jones, D.J.*, Chevallier, M., Moyer, D.C., Maliti, H.T., Mwita, M., Kohi, E.M. & Hopcraft, G.C. 2019 A comparison of deep learning and citizen science techniques for counting wildlife in aerial survey images. Methods in Ecology and Evolution 10: 779-787 *equal contributors
- Torney CJ, Dobson AP, Borner F, Lloyd-Jones DJ, Moyer D, et al. (2016), Assessing rotation-Invariant feature classification for automated wildebeest population counts. Plos One 11: e0156342.
- Lloyd-Jones, D.J. & Briskie, J.V. 2016 Mutual wattle ornaments in the South Island saddleback (Philesturnus carunculatus) function as armaments. Ethology 122: 61-71.
- Khwaja, N. & Lloyd-Jones, D.J. 2015 Eurasian blackbird (Turdus merula) nest parasitised by song thrush (T. philomelos). Notornis 62: 41-44.
- Lloyd-Jones, D.J. 2014 Ultrasonic harmonics in the calls of rock wren (Xenicus gilviventris). Nortornis 61: 165-169.