The cost of cooperation in cooperative breeders, examples of the sociable weaver
Sophie Lardy will present the Department of Biological Sciences seminar with a talk entitled, "The cost of cooperation in cooperative breeders, examples of the sociable weaver".
Cooperation, a behaviour that is beneficial for an individual other than the actor, is observed in a large diversity of organisms, from bacteria to humans. Cooperation necessarily results in net benefits for the actor in order to evolve. The benefits associated with cooperative behaviour have been studied extensively and several studies have indeed shown the existence of such benefits, thereby emphasising the adaptive value of cooperation. Nevertheless, they also revealed important unexplained individual variations in cooperative investment. Why are some individuals more cooperative than others and why does this variation persist? The existence of costs associated with cooperation appears to be a likely candidate to explain the factors influencing individual investment in cooperative behaviour. During this presentation, I will present my work on the physiological costs associated with cooperation in the sociable weaver, a cooperatively breeding bird. Particularly, I investigated whether cooperation is associated with immediate physiological costs and I tested if these costs influence individual investment in this behaviour.