Collective Behaviour - Fall Seminar Series 2020

Collective behaviors in personalized groups: why family living matters

Michael Griesser, CASCB

Michael Griesser is an affiliate member of CASCB and a Heisenberg Fellow at the Department of Biology, Uni Konstanz. In his research, Michael tries to understand the evolution of family living and cooperative breeding by working with a number of bird species using a comparative field approach.

Collective behaviors in personalized groups: why family living matters

 Group-living species that engage in collective behaviours vary in the way groups are formed, fundamentally influencing the processes occurring in these groups. Groups may be of ephemeral nature where individuals form anonymous aggregation of varying sizes, or they may be very stable where individuals have personalized relationships. These latter groups are often formed through delayed offspring dispersal, setting the base for kin cooperation. In my talk, I will show that extended parenting (i.e., prolonged parent-offspring associations beyond independence) provides a steppingstone for the evolution of cooperative breeding and other forms of kin cooperation. Using Siberian jays, a family-group living bird species, I will highlight the adaptive benefits that arise from extended parenting. Offspring benefit from a safe haven allowing them acquire vital skills, and thereby boosting their survival and opportunities to become a breeder. Thus, extended parenting is also fundamental for cognitive evolution across species.

Datum: 2020-12-14