Dr. Alfredo Sánchez Tójar

Dr. Alfredo Sánchez Tójar

IMPRS Alumni
MPI for Ornithology Seewiesen

Main Focus

Evolution of social behaviors
Natural selection is expected to lead to "good" genes taking over a population, and thereby to deplete genetic variation in natural populations. Nevertheless, even traits closely correlated to fitness often show considerable genotypic and phenotypic variation. Social behavior like dominance behavior and parental care behavior can vary widely between individuals, and incur fitness consequences. There must therefore be mechanisms operating that result in genetic variation in social behavioral traits being preserved. Different social environments may select for different social traits.
During my PhD I will examine this hypothesis and the evolutionary consequences. We will analyze 12 years of data from a pedigreed, wild island population of house sparrows. We use focused experiments on captive sparrows in Germany to test our hypotheses generated from observations on the wild population.

Curriculum Vitae

  • since 2018, Postdoctoral researcher, Bielefeld University, Germany. Project: The behavioural ecology of individualized niches in the light of meta-analyses.
  • August 2013 - 2018, IMPRS doctorate student, MPI for Ornithology, Seewiesen, Germany. Thesis: The evolution of social dominance in house sparrows.
  • July 2013, MSc in Ethology, University of Córdoba, Spain
  • July 2012, 5-years degree in Biology, University of Granada, Spain
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