In the Division of Behavioural Ecology, we study the evolutionary mechanisms that shape animal behaviour in an ecologically relevant context. Specific research topics include parental decision making, cooperative breeding, parental effects and the development of social behaviour, evolution of complex sociality and cooperation, alternative reproductive tactics strategies, communication networks, cognition, animal personality, and life history strategies. As model systems we currently use Neotropical poison frogs, Cichlid fishes of Lake Tanganyika, Tokay geckos, wild-type Norway rats and ambrosia beetles. We study these animals in the lab as well as in their natural habitat, by combining a diverse set of methodological approaches, including behavioural experiments, ecological manipulations, theoretical modelling, video monitoring, molecular parentage and kinship analyses, gene expression studies, endocrinological manipulations, GIS analyses, and automation of cognitive test designs.
New paper in Scientific Reports
"Rats show direct reciprocity when interacting with multiple partners" by Nina Kettler, Manon K. Schweinfurth & Michael Taborsky