Dr Iain Barber

barberHonorary Associate Professor of Animal Biology

Hon. President of the Fisheries Society of the British Isles

Email: ib115@le.ac.uk




2017 and in press

Cable, J., Barber, I., Boag, B., Ellison, A., Morgan, E., Murray, K., Pascoe, E., Sait, S.M. & Booth, M. (2016). Global change, parasite transmission and disease control: lessons from ecology. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences (in press).

Hébert, F.O., Grambauer, S., Barber, I., Landry, C.R. & Aubin-Horth, N. (2017). Major host transitions are modulated through transcriptome-wide reprograming events in Schistocephalus solidus, a threespine stickleback parasite. Molecular Ecology 26, 1118–1130. doi:10.1111/mec.13970

Barber, I., Mora, A.B., Payne, E.M., Weinersmith, K.L. & Sih, A. (2017). Parasitism, personality and cognition in fishBehavioural Processes (in press).  doi:10.1016/j.beproc.2016.11.012

Mainwaring, M.C., Barber, I., Deeming, D.C., Pike, D.A., Roznik, E.A. & Hartley, I. (2017) Climate change and nesting behaviour in vertebrates: a review of the ecological threats and potential for adaptive responses. Biological Reviews (in press). doi:10.1111/brv.12317


Grecias, L. Hébert, F.O., Berger, C.S., Barber, I. & Aubin-Horth, N. (2016). Can the behaviour of threespine stickleback parasitized with Schistocephalus solidus be replicated by manipulating host physiology? Journal of Experimental Biology doi:10.1242/jeb.151456

Head, M.L., Fox, R. Barber, I. (2016) Environmental change mediates mate choice for an extended phenotype, but not for mate qualityEvolution doi: 10.1111/evo.13091

 Breacker, C., Barber, I., Norton, W.H.J., McDearmid, J.R. & Tilley, C.A. (2016) A low cost method of mucosal swabbing for the collection of DNA samples from small laboratory fishZebrafish (in press). doi: 10.1089/zeb.2016.1348

Hébert, F.O., Grambauer, S., Barber, I., Landry, C.R. & Aubin-Horth, N. (2016) Protocols for “Transcriptome sequences spanning key developmental states as a resource for the study of the cestode Schistocephalus solidus, a threespine stickleback parasite”protocols.io http://dx.doi.org/10.17504/protocols.io.ew9bfh6.

Hébert, F.O., Grambauer, S., Barber, I., Landry, C.R. & Aubin-Horth, N. (2016) Reference transcriptome sequence resource for the study of the Cestode Schistocephalus solidus, a threespine stickleback parasiteGigaScience Database.

Hébert, F.O., Grambauer, S., Barber, I., Landry, C.R. & Aubin-Horth, N. (2016). Transcriptome sequences spanning key developmental states as a resource for the study of the cestode Schistocephalus solidus, a threespine stickleback parasiteGigaScience 5:24 doi:10.1186/s13742-016-0128-3

Barber, I., Berkhout, B.W. & Ismail, Z. (2016) Thermal change and the dynamics of multi-host parasite life cycles in aquatic ecosystemsIntegrative and Comparative Biology 56, 561-572 doi:10.1093/icb/icw025

Pinho, G.L.L., Martins, C.M.G. & Barber, I. (2016) Copper accumulation by stickleback nests containing spigginEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research 23, 13554-13559. doi:10.1007/s11356-016-6784-0

Macnab, V., Katsiadaki, I., Tilley, C.A. and Barber, I. (2016) Oestrogenic pollutants promote the growth of a parasite in male sticklebacksAquatic Toxicology 174, 92-100. doi:10.1016/j.aquatox.2016.02.010

Simmonds, N.E. & Barber, I. (2016) The effect of salinity on egg development and viability of Schistocephalus solidus (Cestoda: Diphyllobothriidea)Journal of Parasitology 216, 42-46 doi:10.1645/14-701


Seear, P.J., Rosato, E., Goodall-Copestake, W.P. and Barber, I. (2015) The molecular evolution of spiggin nesting glue in sticklebacksMolecular Ecology 17: 4474-4488. doi:10.1111/mec.13317

Hébert, F.O., Phelps, L., Samonte, I., Panchal, M., Grambauer, S., Barber, I., Kalbe, M. Landry, C.R. & Aubin-Horth, N. (2015) Identification of candidate mimicry proteins involved in parasite-driven phenotypic changesParasites & Vectors 8: 225. doi:10.1186/s13071-015-0834-1


Smith C., Spence R, Barber I, Przybylski M and Wootton RJ. (2014) The role of calcium and predation on plate morph evolution in the three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus)Ecology and Evolution 4, 3550–3554. doi: 10.1002/ece3.1180

Seear PJ, Head ML, Tilley, CA, Rosato, E and Barber, I. (2014) Flow-mediated plasticity in the expression of stickleback nesting glue genesEcology and Evolution 4, 1233-1242. doi:10.1002/ece3.1016


Barber, I. (2013) Sticklebacks as model hosts in ecological and evolutionary parasitologyTrends in Parasitology 29, 556-566. (email me for PDF)

 Pedroso SS, Barber I, Svensson O, Fonseca PJ and Amorim MCP. (2013) Courtship sounds advertise species identity and male quality in sympatric Pomatoschistus spp. gobiesPLoS ONE 8(6): e64620. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0064620

 Barber I. (2013) The evolutionary ecology of nest construction: insight from recent fish studiesAvian Biology Research 6, 83-98.

Spence R, Wootton RJ, Barber I, Przybylski M and Smith C. (2013) Ecological causes of morphological evolution in the three-spined sticklebackEcology and Evolution 3, 1717–1726. doi: 10.1002/ece3.581


Dingemanse NJ, Barber I, Wright J, and Brommer J. (2012) Quantitative genetics of behavioural reaction norms: genetic correlations between personality and behavioural plasticity vary across stickleback populationsJournal of Evolutionary Biology 25, 485–496.

Macnab V and Barber I (2012) Some (worms) like it hot: fish parasites grow faster in warmer water, and alter host thermal preferencesGlobal Change Biology 18, 1540–1548. Read Ed Yong's nice write-up in Discovermagazine


Macnab V, Scott AP, Katsiadaki I and Barber I (2011) Variation in the reproductive potential of Schistocephalus infected male sticklebacks is associated with 11-ketotestosterone titreHormones and Behavior 60, 371–379.

Nishimura N, Heins DC, Andersen RO, Barber I and Cresko WA (2011) Distinct lineages of Schistocephalus parasites in threespine and ninespine stickleback hosts revealed by DNA sequence analysisPLoS ONE 6(7): e22505. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0022505

van der Sluijs I, Gray SM, Amorim MCP, Barber I, Candolin U, Hendry AP, Krahe R, Maan ME, Utne-Palm AC, Wagner HJ and Wong BBM (2011) Communication in troubled waters: responses of fish communication systems to changing environmentsEvolutionary Ecology 25, 623-640.



Barber I and Dingemanse NJ (2010) Parasitism and the evolutionary ecology of animal personalityPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B - Biological Sciences 365, 4077–4088. (email me for PDF)

Rushbrook BJ, Head ML, Katsiadaki I and Barber I. (2010) Flow regime affects building behaviour and nest structure in sticklebacks. Behavioral Ecology & Sociobiology 64,1927–1935.

Barber I (2010) Retrospective of ‘The effect of Schistocephalus solidus (Cestoda: Pseudophyllidea) on the foraging and shoaling behaviour of three-spined sticklebacks, Gasterosteus aculeatus’. In: von Hippel FA (Ed) Tinbergen’s Legacy in Behaviour: Sixty Years of Landmark Stickleback Papers. p361-366. Brill, Leiden NL.

Barber I and Nettleship S (2010) From ‘trash fish’ to supermodel: the rise and rise of the three-spined stickleback in evolution and ecology. Biologist 57, 15-21.

Barber I and Scharsack JP (2010) The three-spined stickleback - Schistocephalus solidus system: an experimental model for investigating host-parasite interactions in fish.Parasitology 137, 411-24


Macnab V, Katsiadaki I and Barber I (2009) Reproductive potential of Schistocephalus infected male three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) from two UK populations. Journal of Fish Biology 75, 2095-2107.

Barber I, Davies AJ, Ironside JE, Forsgren E and Amundsen T (2009). First record of a Kabatana sp microsporidium infecting fish in the Atlantic Ocean. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms 83, 145-152

Dingemanse NJ, Oosterhof C, Van Der Plas F and Barber I (2009). Variation in stickleback head morphology associated with parasite infection. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 96, 759-768

Dingemanse NJ, Van der Plas F, Wright J, Reale D, Schrama M, Roff DA, Van der Zee E and Barber I (2009). Individual experience and evolutionary history of predation affect expression of heritable variation in fish personality and morphology. Proceedings of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences 276, 1285-1293


Barber I and Rushbrook BJ (2008) Parasites and fish behaviour. in Fish Behaviour (eds: Magnhagen C, Braithwaite V, Forsgren E and Kapoor BG). p525-561. Science Publishers, Enfield NH

Dockery M, Barber I and Maskew D (2008) Let's ask the shrimps! We can ask animals questions - their behaviour provides the answers. School Science Review 90, 83-86.

Rushbrook BJ and Barber I (2008) A comparison of nest building by three-spined sticklebacks Gasterosteus aculeatus from still and flowing waters. Journal of Fish Biology 73, 746-752.

Barber I, Wright HA, Arnott SA and Wootton RJ (2008) Growth and energetics in the stickleback-Schistocephalus host-parasite system: a review of experimental infection studies. Behaviour 145, 647-668.

Rushbrook BJ, Dingemanse NJ and Barber I (2008) Repeatability in nest construction by male three-spined sticklebacks. Animal Behaviour 75, 547-553.


Dörücü M, Wilson D and Barber I (2007) Differences in adult egg output of Schistocephalus solidus from singly- and multiply-infected sticklebacks. Journal of Parasitology 93, 1521-1523.

Wright HA, Wootton RJ and Barber I (2007) Compensatory growth in sticklebacks inhibited by experimental Schistocephalus infectionsCanadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 64, 819-826.

Rushbrook BJ, Katsiadaki I and Barber I (2007) Spiggin production is inhibited in male sticklebacks infected with Schistocephalus solidus. Journal of Fish Biology 71, 298-303.

Barber I (2007) Parasites, behaviour and welfare in fish. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 104, 251–264

Barber I (2007) Host-parasite interactions of the three spined stickleback. In The Biology of the Threespined Stickleback (eds. Östlund-Nilsson S, Mayer I and Huntingford FA). CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL. p271-317


Rushbrook BJ and Barber I (2006) Nesting, courtship and kidney development in Schistocephalus-infected male three-spined sticklebacks from an upland lake. Journal of Fish Biology 69, 870–882

Wright HA, Wootton RJ and Barber I (2006). The effect of Schistocephalus solidus infection on meal size of three-spined stickleback. Journal of Fish Biology 68, 801–809


Barber I and Wright HA (2005). Fish physiology and behaviour: the effects of parasites. In Fish Physiology Vol. 24, Behaviour: Interactions with Fish Physiology. (eds. Sloman K, Wilson RW and Balshine S). Elsevier/Academic Press

Pélabon C, Borg ÅA, Bjelvenmark J, Barber I, Forsgren E and Amundsen T (2005). Do microsporidian parasites affect courtship in male two-spotted gobies? Marine Biology 148, 189-196

Barber I (2005). Parasites grow larger in faster growing fish hosts. International Journal for Parasitology 37, 137-143

Ward AJW, Duff AJ, Krause J and Barber I (2005) Shoaling behaviour of sticklebacks infected with a microsporidian parasite. Environmental Biology of Fishes 72, 155-160


Wright HA, Wootton RJ and Barber I (2004) Inter-population variation in early growth of three-spined sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus L.) under laboratory conditions.Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Science 61, 1832-1838

Smith C, Barber I, Wootton RJ and Chittka L (2004). A receiver bias in the origin of threespine stickleback mate choice. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B 271, 949-955

Barber I, Walker P and Svensson PA (2004). Behavioural responses to simulated avian predation in female three-spined sticklebacks: the effect of experimental Schistocephalus solidus infections. Behaviour 141, 1425-1440


Arnold KE, Adam A, Orr KJ, Griffiths R and Barber I (2003). Sex-specific survival and parasitism in three-spined sticklebacks: seasonal patterns revealed by molecular analysis. Journal of Fish Biology 63, 1046-1050

Barber I and Svensson PA (2003) Effects of experimental Schistocephalus solidus infections on growth, morphology and sexual development of female three-spined sticklebacks, Gasterosteus aculeatus. Parasitology 126, 359-367

Pélabon C, Borg ÅA, Bjelvenmark J, Forsgren E, Barber I and Amundsen T (2003) Do male two-spotted gobies prefer large fecund females? Behavioral Ecology 14 787-792

Barber I (2003) Parasites and size assortative schooling in three-spined sticklebacks.Oikos 101, 331-337

Barber I (2003) The role of parasites in fish-bird interactions: a behavioural ecological perspective. In Interactions between Fish and Birds (ed. Cowx IG). p221-243. Oxford: Blackwell Science. 384pp


Barber I (2002) Parasites, male-male competition and female mate choice in the sand goby. Journal of Fish Biology 61, 185-198

Barber I and Poulin R (2002) Interactions between fish, parasites and disease. In The Handbook of Fish and Fisheries (eds. Hart PJB and Reynolds JD). p359-389. Oxford: Blackwell Science


Barber I, Nairn D and Huntingford FA (2001) Nests as ornaments: revealing construction by male sticklebacks. Behavioral Ecology 12: 390-396

Barber I and Wright HA (2001) How important are familiarity benefits to shoaling fish?Animal Behaviour 61, 975-979

Barber I, Arnott SA, Braithwaite VA, Andrew J and Huntingford FA (2001) Indirect fitness consequences of mate choice in sticklebacks: offspring of brighter males grow slowly but resist parasite infections. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B 268, 71-76

Barber I (2001) Effects of Schistocephalus solidus (Cestoda, Pseudophyllidea) on stickleback feeding behaviour. In Practical Exercises in Parasitology (eds. Halton DW, Behnke JM and Marshall I). p433-443. Cambridge: CUP


Barber I and Arnott SA (2000) Split-clutch IVF: a technique to examine indirect fitness consequences of mate preferences in sticklebacks. Behaviour 137, 1129-1140

Barber I and Folstad I (2000) Schooling, dusk flight and dance: social organisations as amplifiers of individual quality? Oikos 89, 191-194

Barber I and Ruxton GD (2000) The importance of stable schooling: do familiar sticklebacks stick together? Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B 267, 151-156

Barber I, Hoare D and Krause J (2000) The effects of parasites on fish behaviour: an evolutionary perspective and review. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries 10, 131-165

Barber I, Arnott SA, Braithwaite VA, Andrew J, Mullen W and Huntingford FA (2000). Carotenoid-based sexual coloration and body condition in nesting male sticklebacks.Journal of Fish Biology 57, 777-790.

Braithwaite VA and Barber I (2000) Limitations to colour-based sexual preferences in three-spined sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus). Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology 47, 413-416

Arnott SA, Barber I and Huntingford FA (2000) Parasite-induced growth enhancement in a fish-cestode system. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B 267, 657-663

Griffiths R, Orr KJ, Adam A and Barber I (2000) DNA sex identification in the three-spined stickleback. Journal of Fish Biology 57, 1331-1334

Svensson PA, Barber I and Forsgren E (2000) Shoaling behaviour of the two spotted goby.Journal of Fish Biology 56, 1477-1487

Pre 2000

Barber I and Ruxton GD (1998) Temporal prey distribution affects the competitive ability of parasitized sticklebacks. Animal Behaviour 56, 1477-1483.

Barber I, Downey LC and Braithwaite VA (1998) Parasitism, oddity and the mechanism of shoal choice. Journal of Fish Biology 53, 1365-1368

Barber I (1997) A non-invasive morphometric technique to estimate the cestode plerocercoid load of small freshwater fishes. Journal of Fish Biology 51, 654-658

Barber I and Crompton DWT (1997a) The ecology of Diplostomum phoxini infections in two minnow (Phoxinus phoxinus) populations in ScotlandJournal of Helminthology 71, 189-196

Barber I and Crompton DWT (1997b) The distribution of the metacercariae of Diplostomum phoxini in the brain of minnows, Phoxinus phoxinusFolia Parasitologica 44, 19-25

Barber I and Huntingford FA (1996) Parasite infection alters schooling behaviour: deviant positioning of helminth-infected minnows in conspecific groupsProceedings of the Royal Society of London B 263, 1095-1102

Barber I and Huntingford FA (1995) The effect of Schistocephalus solidus (Cestoda: Pseudophyllidea) on the foraging and shoaling behaviour of three-spined sticklebacks, Gasterosteus aculeatusBehaviour 132, 1223-1240

Barber I, Huntingford FA and Crompton DWT (1995) The effect of hunger and cestode parasitism on the shoaling decisions of small freshwater fish. Journal of Fish Biology 47, 524-536

Owen SF, Barber I and Hart PJB (1993) Low level infection by eye fluke, Diplostomum spp., affects the vision of three-spined sticklebacks. Journal of Fish Biology 42, 803-806

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The effects of parasites on the behaviour and ecology of fish; mate choice and nesting behaviour in fish; host-parasite interactions of fish; parasite evolutionary ecology; effects of global environmental change on host-parasite interactions; mechanisms of host behavioural manipulation by parasites

Funded BBSRC MIBTP Industrial CASE PhD studentship (deadline Jan 2017) NEW!


Press coverage

Research shows female fish judge males on DIY skills

Female fish judge males on nest-building skills—before dumping them

Fishy antics on TV get expert University advice (Springwatch)

Current affairs make life hard for stickleback dads (BBC ONE Show)

Book reviews

Fish Parasites: Pathobiology and Protection (Eds. PTK Woo and K Buchmann, CAB International, London, 2012) ISBN 978-1-84593-806-2. Hardback, £95.00, $180.00, €125.00, 383pp

Review: Barber, I. (2012) Fish Parasites: Pathobiology and Protection. Fish and Fisheries 13, 477-478

Fish Defenses. Volume 2: Pathogens, Parasites and Predators. (Eds. G Zaccone, C Perrière, A Mathis and BG Kapoor, Enfield (New Hampshire): Science Publishers, 2009) ISBN: 978-1-57808-407-4. 2009 Hardback, $129.50. 400pp.

Review: Barber, I. (2012) Fish Defenses. The Quarterly Review of Biology 86, 237-238

Fish Welfare (Ed. EJ Branson, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK, 2008) ISBN-13: 978-1-4051-4629-6, £105.99/€127.20/$211.99, Hardback, 316pp.

Review: Barber, I. (2009) Fish Welfare. Fish and Fisheries 10, 354-357

DVD reviews

Triumph of Life and Secrets of Nature DVD boxed sets.

Review: Barber, I. (2011) Design for Living. Viewfinder 82, 12-13.

'Sticklebacks in Schools' project - Key Stage 2 (primary)

These materials arose from a collaboration between researchers in the Barber lab, Jerome Masters and Aimee Clorley at the Environment Agency (Leeds) and Debbie Whittaker at Gledhow Primary School (Leeds). The aim of the project was to encourage primary schools to engage primary school age children in the study of animal behaviour. We produced a project pack, comprising three resources, to allow the safe, ethical and fun study of stickleback reproductive behaviour in the classroom. These resources are available from the links below. Copyright is held by the University of Leicester and the Environment Agency.

Stickleback care

This resource, entitled ‘Catching, caring for and releasing fish’, provides information for safe, legal and ethical capture, maintenance, husbandry and ultimate re-release of sticklebacks from natural populations.

Stickleback learn

This teachers' pack, entitled ‘Learning with sticklebacks’, provides background information on  stickleback biology and the freshwater environment, as well as a series of activities that can be used enhance learning, including an interactive stickleback 'Game of Life'.

YouTube grab This YouTube video was produced by Iain Barber and Vicki Macnab, and shows the nest building behaviour and courtship behaviour of male three-spined sticklebacks, filmed in our laboratory aquaria at the University of Leicester.

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Department of Neuroscience, Psychology and Behaviour
University of Leicester
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