University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Behaviour, Ecology & Evolution Seminar Series > Family life of birds: sex, conflicts and cooperation

Family life of birds: sex, conflicts and cooperation

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Family life is rife with conflicts. Not only the interests of parents and their offspring may be different, but the male and the female parents may also disagree how much care each should provide for their offspring. I will review some of the works my group has carried out to understand family dynamics using shorebirds as model organisms. We are investigating birds in their natural habitats, and use experimental manipulations and phylogenetic comparative analyses to work out the drivers of their social behaviour. A core idea is that breeding populations move on a cooperation-conflict continuum. An important, and not yet fully appreciated, component of breeding systems is social environment, and our recent works are revealing some unexpected effects of social environment on sex roles and breeding system evolution.

This talk is part of the Behaviour, Ecology & Evolution Seminar Series series.

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