Adaptive significance of social behaviour



Location University of the Sunshine Coast, Office of Research
Discipline
App. deadline 29/04/2016
Funding
  • Scholarship available
Eligibility Australian residents only

Long-term field studies which record the life histories of recognisableindividuals across multiple generations, while challenging, are key totesting the adaptive value of mammalian sociality (Silk 2007; Clutton-Brock& Sheldon 2010). For instance, long-term field studies conducted onprimates, ungulates and cetaceans have shown that both the quantity andquality of social relationships, measured as mean trait over the studyperiod, can influence fitness traits such as mortality risk (Silk et al.2003; Silk et al. 2009), ageing (Silk et al. 2010) and reproduction(Cameron et al. 2009; Frère et al. 2010; Schülke et al. 2010).While these studies have been instrumental in linking sociality to fitnesstraits, we are yet to fully understand the extent to which intraspecificvariation in social behaviour drives fitness variation.

In the last fiveyears, my research lab and I have been building a longitudinal behavioural,genetic and morphological dataset on eastern water dragons located at theRoma Street Parklands within Brisbane CBD. This is a unique populationcontains more than 350 adult resident dragons which are highly humanhabituated and easy to track, catch and manipulate. In the last few years,we have shown that dragons’ exhibit complex social behaviour similar tothose found in mammals and present an ideal system to study the adaptivesignificance of sociality. Here, I am interested to recruit a phd studentwith a keen interest in social evolution and a desire to develop novel waysto quantify within intraspecific variation in social behaviour to betterunderstand how individuals can manipulate their social environment tomaximize their own fitness.

Also Read  Nonequilibrium fluctuations, response and anomalous transport

My research lab uses longitudinallife-history datasets on wild populations comprising behavioural, spatialand genetic information to understand how free-living animals evolve in thewild. In particular, we aim to shed light on how environmental and socialfactors influence evolutionary processes (see Frere LabResearch).

Please contact Dr Celine Frere via email [email protected] more information

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      ischolar
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      University of the Sunshine Coast, Office of Research

      Long-term field studies which record the life histories of recognisable individuals across multiple generations, while challenging, are key to testing the adaptive value of mammalian sociality (Silk 2007; Clutton-Brock & Sheldon 2010). For instance, long-term field studies conducted on primates, ungulates and cetaceans have shown that both the quantity and quality of social relationships, measured as mean trait over the study period, can influence fitness traits such as mortality risk (Silk et al. 2003; Silk et al. 2009), ageing (Silk et al. 2010) and reproduction (Cameron et al. 2009; Frère et al. 2010; Schülke et al. 2010). While these studies have been instrumental in linking sociality to fitness traits, we are yet to fully understand the extent to which intraspecific variation in social behaviour drives fitness variation.

      In the last five years, my research lab and I have been building a longitudinal behavioural, genetic and morphological dataset on eastern water dragons located at the Roma Street Parklands within Brisbane CBD. This is a unique population contains more than 350 adult resident dragons which are highly human habituated and easy to track, catch and manipulate. In the last few years, we have shown that dragons’ exhibit complex social behaviour similar to those found in mammals and present an ideal system to study the adaptive significance of sociality. Here, I am interested to recruit a phd student with a keen interest in social evolution and a desire to develop novel ways to quantify within intraspecific variation in social behaviour to better understand how individuals can manipulate their social environment to maximize their own fitness.

      My research lab uses longitudinal life-history datasets on wild populations comprising behavioural, spatial and genetic information to understand how free-living animals evolve in the wild. In particular, we aim to shed light on how environmental and social factors influence evolutionary processes (see Frere Lab Research).

      Please contact Dr Celine Frere via email [email protected] for more information

      View this listing on the PhDSeek.com website at http://www.phdseek.com/phds/1336

      [See the full post at: Adaptive significance of social behaviour]

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