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Behavioural Ecology - BE

Behavioural Ecology - BE

The Behavioural Ecology Research Group at CIBIO aims to promote and produce high quality research on current and strategic themes in behavioural ecology. Research in our group focuses on evolutionary aspects of behaviour, such as sexual selection and animal communication, behavioural adaptations to changing environments and the evolution of reproductive strategies, namely in sex-role reversed species. The group also maintains interactions with other research groups already established at CIBIO. 

 Our main research lines are:

- Sexual selection and animal communication. We are interested in the evolution of animal signals under sexual selection. Research on this theme concentrates on two sexually selected signals: birdsong and colour ornamentation. We investigate behavioural, neurobiological, and physiological basis for the expression of these signals, their information content and their evolution.

- Behaviour in changing environments. We investigate how changes in ecology affect behaviour. We use invasive species as model systems in which ecology and demography have changed recently. We test if such ecological changes resulted in behavioural adaptations, with an emphasis on reproductive behaviour, sexual ornamentation, and animal personality traits. We also use large-scale comparisons among species to test these hypotheses at the macro- evolutionary level.

- Sexual selection and mating systems. We are also interested in understanding life history and mating system variation across a species geographical distribution. We are developing approaches that enable the measurement of sexual selection in the field, able to highlight variation across populations. Moreover, we are also exploring other topics that involve the unravelling of previously undescribed alternative mating tactics. Primarily using Syngnathidae as model species, we are currently addressing the mechanisms of post-copulatory sexual selection and its implications on species evolution.



 CIBIO-InBIO - Haliots Partnership

CIBIO-InBIO has a partnership with Haliotis, which supports scientific research in Biodiversity, Ecology and Behaviour in Portugal.


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