Team

Team

Rita Covas

Project coordinator, Principal Researcher at CIBIO, University of Porto and Honorary Research Associate at the FitzPatrick Institute, University of Cape Town

I am a behavioural ecologist and evolutionary biologist with a passion for fieldwork and a particular interest in the evolution and consequences of sociality. I use birds as study models and strongly believe in the importance of long-term data to address questions about evolution in the wild. I lead the sociable weaver project together with Claire Doutrelant.

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Claire Doutrelant

Project co-coordinator, Centre d’Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive – CEFE-CNRS, University of Montpellier and University of Cape Town

Sociable weavers are an interesting species for tackling the interacting factors that lead individuals to cooperate or enter in conflicts.My interests are many, but they focus on sexual and social selection in relation to cooperation, the measurement of cooperation and conflict within weaver societies, and their relationship to colony dynamics.

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Pietro D´Amelio

Post-Doc, Centre d’Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive – CEFE-CNRS

My research is centered around Ethology and spans from mechanisms and consequences of pair formation, to communication and I am passionate about stats. Within the Sociable Weaver project I have been trying to understand 1) the benefit of their long term monogamy, 2) whether breeding birds change their cooperative behavior if an unknown individual shows up at the colony and 3) I will try to understand their vocabulary.

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Erwan Harscouet

 PhD student, Centre d’Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive – CEFE-CNRS and University of Montpellier.

The aim of my PhD project is to understand how birds nests evolve. The nest’s primary function is to provide protection for developing offspring. However nests can also be very conspicuous, decorated, or associated with the presence of individuals performing remarkable displays, when we could expect that camouflaged nests should be favored by natural selection. Thus it is probable that other reasons excluding offspring protection may act upon nest’s evolution.

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Franck Theron

Technician:Database management, logistic and field support, Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos – CIBIO-InBIO, University of Porto

My principals tasks regarding this project are: logistic and administrative supports, field-technician assistance and training for long term data collect, development and management of data and databases for long term perspectives.

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André Ferreira

Former PhD student, current collaborator, University of Zurich, Switzerland.

With my PhD project I aimed at testing if propensity to cooperate can be a personality trait, if individuals that cooperate more are more easily chosen by others as social partners and what are the associated benefits for co-operators arising from their social bonds.

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LILIANA SILVA

AI Research Technician, Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos – CIBIO-InBIO, University of Porto

With a biological and computer science background, my scientific interest shifted from looking to how animals relate to how to improve the way we look at it. I’m puzzled by recent advances in technology through Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence and how they can be applied to the field of Behavioural Ecology.

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Rita Fortuna

PhD student, Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos – CIBIO-InBIO, University of Porto

My research has been focused on early-life effects, parental care and cooperation in Sociable Weavers. I like to explore whether and how environments lead to variation of traits and behaviour and to ultimately study the fitness consequences of different investment strategies.

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Nicolas Silva

PhD student, Centre d’Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive – CEFE-CNRS and University of Montpellier.

The aim of my PhD project is to study the mate choice in a monomorphic dull bird species (the sociable weaver) and the role for behaviour in sexual selection.

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MARTA MARMELO

Msc StudentCentro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos – CIBIO-InBIO, University of Porto

The aims of my Master’s thesis consist in describing the sentinel and vigilance behaviours, for the first time, in the sociable-weaver (Philetairus socius), in order to understand if and why some individuals might be more prone to invest in these behaviours, than others

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