Research Lines
Delayed dispersal

Cooperation at the nestBrood parasitims sociality and cognition









Research Lines

Cooperation, defined as the coordinated action between different biological units in order to obtain a common benefit, is the fundamental mechanism beyond the main transitions in the history of life. Our project frames cooperation into an evolutionary context, searching for adaptive mechanisms that favour the interaction and the joint action of individuals. In particular, we will investigate the role of acoustic communication in facilitating a complex behaviour such as cooperative breeding in birds, where more than two individuals collaborate in raising the young.
photo courtesy of Bernie Gudgeon

Our study model is the carrion crow Corvus corone corone, which shows one of the most complex bird societies, where extended family groups that include parents, offspring and other close relatives share the care of new young. By applying cutting-edge technology to record vocalization in a completely natural context we will analyse the acoustic repertoire of this species and its function in driving cooperative actions. We will also carry out field experiments, where we will manipulate the demand for cooperation within the group to observe the corresponding response in the frequency, use and modulation of calls.