Research Interests and Main Results
I have discovered cooperative behaviour in Spanish carrion crows in 1995, while I was studying the ecology of corvid species for my PhD. In 1999 I started my post-doc in Sweden, focussing full time on cooperative breeding in crows. I established the bases for a long-term project and founded the research group that is working on different topics of sociality and cooperation in this species.
I have been interested primarily on the factors promoting delayed dispersal of offspring and the association between territorial breeders and immigrants. By combining molecular data, methods of radio telemetry, behavioural observations and field experiments, I uncovered the kin-based association between immigrant crows and dominant breeders of the same sex, providing one of the first compelling evidence of kin selection in a vertebrate social species. I investigated the role of territory quality on dispersal decisions of offspring and the factors that promote the geographic variability of sociality and cooperation.
My current research focuses on the relationship between sociality, cooperation and cognition.