Eva Trapote
Christian RutzMark Johnson
Marta Vila Taboada

former PhD students
Elisa Chiarati
Rubén Vera Gómez
Diana Bolopo












Vittorio Baglione

First degree:
Natural Sciences ( University of Pavia , Italy )
Biology ( University of León , Spain )
Post doc:
Evolutionary Biology Centre ( Uppsala , Sweden )
Current position:
Professor ( University of Valladolid , Spain )

Current address:
Dpto Biodiversidad Y Gestión Ambiental
Campus de Vegazana n/n
24071 León (Spain)

Email: vbag@unileon.es


Vittorio Baglione


Research Interests and Main Results

An interview with Dr Vittorio Baglione at IE University during Science Week 2009. Dr Baglione is an expert in cooperative behaviour in birds.

Questions: How common is cooperative behaviour in living organisms? What determines the trait to cooperate, the genes or the culture? Why is cooperativity among corvids important as a research topic?

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.

It has been recently stressed the importance of “social culture”, that is the cultural transmission of knowledge and skills through generations, to explain levels of intelligence observed in current species. My aim is to investigate the cognitive abilities of carrion crows and to what extent they shape behavioural tactics in a social environment.