Universität Bern

HIGHLIGHTS

PNAS - Predation risk drives social complexity in cooperative breeders. Groenewoud, Frommen, Josi, Tanaka, Jungwirth & Taborsky
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The evolution of cooperation based on direct fitness benefits. Phil Trans theme issue compiled and edited by Taborsky M., Frommen JG & Riehl C. (2016)
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NATURE COMMUNICATIONS Kinship reduces alloparental care in cooperative cichlids where helpers pay-to-stay
Zoettl M., Heg D., Chervet N. & Taborsky M. (2013)
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Social competence: an evolutionary approach
Taborsky, B. & Oliveira, R.F.
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Larval helpers and age polyethism in ambrosia beetles
Biedermann P.H.W. & Taborsky M.
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Animal personality due to social niche specialisation
Bergmueller R. & Taborsky M.
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Environmental Change Enhances Cognitive Abilities in Fish
Kotrschal, A. & Taborsky, B.
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Extended phenotypes as signals
Franziska C. Schaedelin and Michael Taborsky
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On the Origin of Species by Natural and Sexual Selection
G. Sander van Doorn, Pim Edelaar, Franz J. Weissing
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Cambridge University Press
Alternative Reproductive Tactics: An Integrative
Approach

Oliveira R., Taborsky M. & Brockmann H.J.
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Research

Reproductive behaviour

Mechanisms involved in the evolution of alternative reproductive behaviours. In many species individuals may adopt one of several different reproductive behaviours, especially in the male sex. Some males may invest in primary access to females through the defence of resources, for example, whereas others circumvent this investment by either parasitising the investment of other males or by forced copulations.

Cooperative breeding

The evolution and ecology of cooperative breeding: using the cichlid fish Neolamprologus pulcher as a model. Charles Darwin considered the apparently widespread occurrence of ‘altruistic’ behaviour in the animal kingdom as one of the most important test cases for his theory of evolution by natural selection. The evolution of cooperative behaviour has somehow remained enigmatic to the students of biology until the development of kin selection theory by William D. Hamilton in 1967.

Life history

The environmental conditions an individual experiences during early ontogeny may shape the life histories and behaviour of phenotypes irreversibly for the entire life time. Moreover early-environment effects can be transmitted between generations through maternal influences on propagule phenotype.

Multiple mating

Sperm competition in mouthbrooding cichlids? Many species show multiple mating by females, however the benefits incurred by this behaviour are often unclear. Multiple mating is obviously adaptive for males as they can thereby sire more offspring. For females the benefits are less obvious as one male can usually deliver enough sperm to sire the whole clutch.

Sociality in beetles

Ambrosia beetles make up around 3400 of the 7500 species in the subfamily Scolytinae (Scolytidae and Platypotidae). Most of them construct tunnel systems in the heartwood of trees (typically in weakened or recently dead trees or, more rarely, in vigorous hosts), among others that colonize pith, large seeds, fruits and leaf petioles. The term ambrosia refers to the fungi cultivated by the beetles on their gallery walls, upon which they feed as an exclusive, or near exclusive food source.

Cooperation in rats

"Behavioural and hormonal correlates of cooperation in Norway Rats, Rattus norvegicus"
Female wild type Norway rats differ in their propensity to cooperate in a two-player sequential food-exchange task. These individual differences may form part of a larger suite of correlated behaviours, which are consistently expressed within the same context and across different contexts.

Value of signals

The signal value and heritability of an “extended phenotype”: crater building and multiple signalling in Lake Tanganyika cichlids. The evolution of courtship and exaggerated secondary sexual characters is one of the favourite puzzles in behavioural ecology.