Evolutionary ecology of dispersal

Abstract Our main research focuses on the proximate underpinning and ecological and evolutionary repercussions of between-individual in behavior and other labile traits. We apply research paradigms that focus on the integration of behavioral ecology, quantitative genetics, and evolutionary biology. We study suites of key behavioral (exploratory tendency, anti-predator boldness, aggressiveness) and life-history traits in each of 12 nest box populations of great tits, and use experimental approaches to ask i) whether natural selection can help maintain individual variation and ii) whether variation itself has ecological and evolutionary repercussions.
This year, we encourage applicants with interest in the evolutionary ecology of dispersal to apply, since we are planning to quantify experimentally parental, environmental, and genetic sources of variation in natal dispersal behavior, and its links with perceived predation risk and parental personality (collaborative project with Bart Kempenaers). Successful applicants will be embedded in the Max Planck Research Group "Evolutionary Ecology of Variation".

Keywords behavioral ecology, animal personality, life-history, dispersal, songbird

Main advisor Niels Dingemanse, MPIO Seewiesen

Interested in this PhD project? Apply here!

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