The aim of this project is to understand the distribution and evolution of cooperative behaviour and social organisation in mammals. One component of the project will focus on interspecific differences and will use a recently developed, gene-based phylogeny to reconstruct the evolution of social organisation and cooperative behaviour while a second will use detailed studies of two mammals where cooperation is highly developed (Kalahari meerkats and Damaraland mole-rats) to investigate the causes and consequences of individual differences in cooperative behaviour and the mechanisms that affect them. The project will provide insight into the evolution of animal societies and the origins of human social behaviour.
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