Frank Groenewoud

Group stability under environmental heterogeneity in cooperatively breeding vertebrates

My thesis focuses on the stability of social groups by identifying the biotic and abiotic factors that might affect the costs and benefits of being in such a group. Understanding why individuals decide to leave (or to stay in) a specific group and why groups accept new immigrants can give us important insights into the factors that promote the evolution of sociality. To help me answer these questions, I use long term behavioural-, demographic- and reproductive success data from a closed population of the cooperatively breeding Seychelles warbler on the Island of Cousin.  In addition, I am studying a cooperatively breeding cichlid in collaboration with the Behavioural Ecology group at the University of Bern to answer similar questions.

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