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Ecology and evolution of cooperative breeding in the carrion crow - 'corvus corone' - an experimental approach

Objective



Research objectives and content This project focuses on one of the most active field of behavioural ecology, the cooperative breeding in birds. The carrion crow (Corvus corone) is an excellent model to test the most recent hypothesis on cooperative breeding. Comparision between some European well-studied non-cooperative populations and the Spanish cooperative population provides an original intraspecific approach to 'helping' in birds. The aims of proposal are: description of crow cooperative behaviour, search for ecological and demographic correlates of helping, estimate of adaptative benefits for helpers and recipient breeders. The use of DNA fingerprinting tecniques and field experiments are expected to produce innovative results, providing data on some of the most controversal aspects of cooperative breeding (for example, conflict of interest between helpers and breeders), and contributing to the reassessment of theories which is now under way. Training content (objective, benefit and expected impact) The objective of the training is to introduce the candidate to the most modern tecniques applied to behavioural ecology, improving their skills in the application of molecular tecniques, design of field experiments, advanced statistical treatment of data and modelling procedures, making them capable of passing on their scientific knowledge to other Community Research Centers, especially in Spain and Italy. Links with industry / industrial relevance (22)

Coordinator

Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Address
Analytical Chemistry Lab
54006 Thessaloniki
Greece