Evolution of social behaviour
Sexual selection and mate choice
Evolution of personalities
Senescence in wild populations
How and why social behaviours evolve has intrigued behavioural
ecologists for decades. Cooperative breeding behaviour occurs when individuals help to raise offspring that are not their own.
Social-evolution theory states that individuals should behave in a way
that increases their genetic contribution to future generations. As
cooperative breeding can be costly it’s therefore not clear why
individuals should help others.
My doctoral research focused on how mating systems influence the evolution of delayed dispersal and how relatedness and reproductive skew vary within social groups. I examined between-individual and within-individual variation in breeding success, specifically looking into reproductive restraint, senescence, cooperative breeding, and mate choice. I then investigated how social interactions, such as directed aggression and allogrooming, relate to breeding success.
For my masters, I demonstrated annual variation in the offspring sex-ratios of badgers. I also built a
phylogeny of the ZFX and ZFY final intron of the Strepsirrhines, with
particular focus on the Lemuroidea superfamily.
PhD at the University of Sheffield on: The evolutionary forces underlying extra-pair paternity in Seychelles warblers. Supervisor: Hannah Dugdale; co-supervisor: Terry Burke. For funding possibilities click here.
If you are interested in
joining the Seychelles warbler project please check our website for further information.
Follow me on twitter @hannahdugdale