A year in the life of an IGB postdoc fellow: animal social networks and conservation behaviour
During this seminar, I will give an overview of my research activities and achievements as an IGB postdoc fellow. First, I will present my core research project on social networks and foraging success in Trinidadian guppies (Poecilia reticulata). By conducting field experiments with guppies in Trinidad we studied foraging success in the wild. We specifically tested if foraging success in the wild differs consistently between individuals and if these differences are related to individual traits such as social phenotype and sex, but also population traits such as sex-ratio. With this study we provided rare evidence for consistent individual differences in foraging success in the wild, independent of the local environment.
Second, I will present my work on conservation behavior, applying behavioral ecology to wildlife conservation and management. During my IGB fellowship, I wrote an opinion piece about the application of animal social network theory to wildlife conservation to stimulate a closer collaboration between behavioral ecologists studying social networks and conservation practitioners. I also became part of an international team of behavioural ecologists who are dedicated to systematically review the literature on the effectiveness of specific animal behaviour-based conservation interventions. Systematic maps and reviews are increasingly used as decision-making tools to bridge the science-policy gap. At this moment, I am reviewing the effectiveness of animal conditioning interventions in reducing Human-wildlife conflict.
In conclusion, my IGB postdoc fellowship has facilitated further development of both my basic and applied science skills as well as allowed me to significantly expand my scientific network.
For more information on the foraging success study, here is the BioRxiv preprint ‘Individual- and population-level drivers of consistent foraging success across environments’
Here is the TREE Opinion article ‘Animal Social Network Theory Can Help Wildlife Conservation
And for more information about systematic evidence synthesis, here is a link to my Systematic map protocol ‘Effectiveness of animal conditioning interventions in reducing Human-wildlife conflict’. It’s a work in progress and comments/suggestions are always welcome.
Host: Jens Krause & Max Wolf