Collective Behaviour - Summer Seminar Series 2023
The collective dynamics of hyena social hierarchies
Dr. Eli Strauss, CASCB / Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior
In complex societies, animals live alongside groupmates that are simultaneously their cooperators and competitors. This heterogeneous social landscape sets the stage for the evolution of social traits that help individuals navigate their societies, for instance by building alliances and competing strategically. However, in other respects, the way animals experience their social landscapes is driven by emergent properties of the collective rather than specific social strategies. I explore these themes in a long-term study of spotted hyenas—large social carnivores that have evolved remarkably primate-like life-histories and societies.
Eli Strauss is a postdoctoral researcher broadly interested in the evolution of sociality and the tension between cooperation and conflict arising from group living. Eli got his PhD at Michigan State University in 2019, then was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln before joining the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior and the CASCB in 2021.