Opendata, web and dolomites


The evolution of food hoarding: from environmental pressures to brain mechanisms

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "HOARDEVOL" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: KINGS GATE
postcode: NE1 7RU

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country United Kingdom [UK]
 Total cost 195˙454 €
 EC max contribution 195˙454 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.3.2. (Nurturing excellence by means of cross-border and cross-sector mobility)
 Code Call H2020-MSCA-IF-2014
 Funding Scheme MSCA-IF-EF-RI
 Starting year 2016
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2016-07-01   to  2018-06-30


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

Dr Lindsay Henderson will move from the University of California Davis, US to Newcastle University in the UK to undertake a project investigating the physiological and neural mechanisms that regulate avian hoarding behaviour and how the social environment influences them. Some species have evolved to store rather than consume food while availability is high, for consumption when food is scarce. This behaviour is called food hoarding and is evident in a range of taxa. Little is known about the mechanisms that underpin the motivation to hoard food. Research shows that energetically demanding conditions are linked to an increase in food hoarding. In addition, there is evidence in social species, that social rank influences hoarding behaviour. Key physiological and neurological mechanisms have also been shown to underpin an animal’s motivation to hoard food, including the stress hormone corticosterone (cort) and consumption regulating neuropeptides, neuropeptide Y (NPY) and agouti-related protein (AgRP). However, whether variation in cort, NPY and AgRP, or an interaction between them regulates hoarding behaviour is yet to be examined. In this project I will experimentally address these knowledge gaps using two closely related bird species that live in social groups during winter when hoarding motivation is high; the food hoarding coal tit (Periparus ater), and the non-hoarding great tit (Parus major). I will use wild-caught captive birds to; i) investigate the influence of the social environment upon hoarding and food consumption under contrasting energy budgets, ii) examine the role of cort as a mediator of hoarding motivation, iii) identify the hypothalamic regions activated during high hoarding motivation between hoarding and non-hoarding species, and iv) examine whether cort, NPY and AgRP receptor density, and NPY/AgRP expression within these regions is linked to hoarding behaviour. I will acquire expertise in neuroscience, neuroanatomy and gene expression analysis.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2018 Lindsay J. Henderson, Rowan C. Cockcroft, Hiroyuki Kaiya, Timothy Boswell, Tom V. Smulders
Peripherally injected ghrelin and leptin reduce food hoarding and mass gain in the coal tit ( Periparus ater )
published pages: 20180417, ISSN: 0962-8452, DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2018.0417
Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 285/1879 2019-06-14

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