Impact of the social environment on extra-pair paternity in blue tits
Most socially monogamous bird species perform
sexual behaviour outside of their social pair bond, often resulting in
extra-pair paternity (EPP). Extra-pair mating behaviour involves interactions
between female or male, its social partner and the extra-pair partner.
Nevertheless, most studies investigating EPP ignored the detailed patterns of
interactions that form an individual’s social environment. However, the social environment
in which an individual lives is likely to play an important role in the expression
of extra-pair mating behaviour. During my PhD I will investigate the link
between the social environment and the occurrence of EPP in blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus). I will
particularly focus on the impact of social parameters on between-individual
variation in EPP and, in turn, explore how EPP might influence aspects of the
social environment. Finally, I plan to test how experimental changes in the
social environment affect extra-pair mating decisions.
- July 2016, MSc in Animal Behaviour, University of Vienna, Austria
- July 2014, BSc in Biology, Ludwig Maximilian University Munich, Germany