Insights from an emergent view of sociality

Time
Monday, 16. September 2019
11:45 – 12:15

Location
M629

Organizer
Adriana Maldonado Chaparro

Speaker:
Daniel Blumstein, Professor in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at UCLA

Daniel Blumstein is a Professor in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at UCLA. His research interests include the evolution of behavior and the integration of behavior and conservation biology. He has spent over a decade studying the evolution of complex communication and sociality and used the 14 species of marmots (Marmota-cat-sized sciurid rodents found throughout the northern hemisphere) as a model system.

Insights from an emergent view of sociality

The yellow-bellied marmots in and around the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory in Colorado, USA have been studied since 1962 when now Emeritus Professor Ken Armitage began to mark and follow the fate of individuals. The marmots are facultatively social which makes then an outstanding system with which to study the adaptive basis of sociality. This has proved somewhat enigmatic because we know that more socially connected females have reduced breeding success and live shorter lives; a finding that bucks trends seen in other obligately social species. I will summarize key findings and suggest that the ‘attribute’ based approach we are using to understand the adaptive value of marmot sociality can be used to shed novel insights into other systems.

Wikimedia Commons: author David Stanley
Wikimedia Commons: author David Stanley