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Comparative analyses of kin selection and sexual selection in cooperative breeders


Project Description

The last 30 years have generated hundreds of papers of data on cooperative breeding species revealing bewildering diversity in behaviour and form. The research focus in our lab has been in explaining patterns of diversity across species: why are some species cooperative while closely related species breed in pairs; why do helpers in some species breed, while others do not? Following on from previous work by the supervisor team (Cornwallis et al 2009 J. Evol. Biol; Cornwallis et al. 2010 Nature; Griffin et al. 2013, PLoS Biology, Cornwallis et al. 2017 Nature Ecol & Evol; Downing et al 2015, 2018 Proc. Roy, Soc.) we offer a studentship project that will focus on the role of sexual selection and promiscuity to understand diversity in social behaviour.

This project offers an excellent opportunity to learn recently developed phylogenetic and meta-analytical techniques to test evolutionary theory using across species comparisons. In partnership with Dr Natalie Cooper at the Natural History Museum, London, the project could include data collection from the ornithological collection of the Natural History Museum.

Application procedure details at: https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/graduate/courses/dphil-zoology?wssl=1. The application deadline is 25th January 2019.

Funding Notes

Funding is competitive, via either University/Departmental Studentships or Doctoral Training Centres (View Website).

References

Cornwallis et al 2009 J. Evol. Biol;
Cornwallis et al. 2010 Nature;
Griffin et al. 2013, PLoS Biology,
Cornwallis et al. 2017 Nature Ecol & Evol;
Downing et al 2015, 2018 Proc. Roy, Soc.

How good is research at University of Oxford in Biological Sciences?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 223.80

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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