Project

Back to overview

Proximate and ultimate causes of Cooperation

English title Proximate and ultimate causes of Cooperation
Applicant van Schaik Carel
Number 137108
Funding scheme ProDoc
Research institution Anthropologisches Institut Universität Zürich
Institution of higher education University of Zurich - ZH
Main discipline Ecology
Start/End 01.05.2012 - 30.06.2016
Approved amount 371'531.00
Show all

All Disciplines (4)

Discipline
Ecology
Experimental Microbiology
Zoology
Molecular Biology

Keywords (4)

cooperation; experimental studies; theoretical studies; integrative approach

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Lay summary

Cooperative behaviour is widespread among individuals at all levels of biological organisation. This poses a problem to traditional views of natural selection, which predicts that individuals should behave selfishly. While much work has been done to resolve the problem of cooperation, recent advances in theoretical and empirical studies made clear that very important questions regarding the general understanding of cooperation are still unresolved. Our integrative ProDoc program will take advantage of the diversity in study systems and conceptual approaches of participating PIs and Co-PIs. The research modules will involve mathematical modelling and empirical research to determine the mechanisms of cooperation at the levels of genes, physiology, ecology and cognition. With the combined expertise of the involved PIs and Co-PIs and the diversity of research approaches pursued in the different modules, we can offer the participating PhD students an outstanding, world-class education and research environment, which will facilitate their development as independent and internationally highly qualified researchers. This ProDoc program will train a critical mass of young researchers to initiate future research programmes bridging across different fields of evolutionary biology.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Dr. Homaoyun Bagheri/University Zürich Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Exchange of personnel
Christoph Schuler/Strapazin Zürich Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Dr. Michael Taborsky/University Bern Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Exchange of personnel
Dr. Jean-Claude Walser/ETH Zürich Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel
Elisa Forster, Hochschule Luzern Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Dr. Marta Manser/University Zürich Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Exchange of personnel
Dr. Carel Van Schaik/University Zürich Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Exchange of personnel
Dr. Klaus Züberbühler/University Neuchatel Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Exchange of personnel
Dr. Nadia Aubin-Horth/University Laval Canada (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Exchange of personnel
Irene Vögeli, Zürcher Hochschule der Künste Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Andrea Caprez/Strapazin Zürich Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Dr. Isabel Klusman, Life Science Zürich UZH Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Research Infrastructure
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Dr. Redouan Bshary/University Neuchatel Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Exchange of personnel
Andy Russell, University Exeter Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Exchange of personnel
Dr. Laurent Lehmann/University Lausanne Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Exchange of personnel
Dr. Barbara Taborsky/University Bern Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Exchange of personnel
Prof. Tim Clutton-Brock Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Dr. Michel Chapuisat/University Lausanne Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Exchange of personnel

Scientific events



Self-organised

Title Date Place
Animal communication: Signal complexity – what questions to ask? 16.06.2016 Zürich, Switzerland
Genetics and Development of Cooperation 26.02.2016 Münsingen, Switzerland
PhD Student Writing Retreat 25.01.2016 Münsingen, Switzerland
4th Annual ProDoc Workshop 08.01.2016 Trogen, Switzerland
3rd Annual ProDoc Workshop 16.01.2015 Trogen, Switzerland
The theory of cooperation 06.11.2014 Bratsch, Switzerland
Workshop "Cooperation and Cognition" 02.06.2014 Neuchatel, Switzerland
Course "Advanced Statistics and Graphics with R " 24.02.2014 Bern, Switzerland
Mini-workshop "Hamilton’s rule, game theory, and maximization" 04.02.2014 Bern, Switzerland
2nd Annual Workshop 16.01.2014 Trogen (AR), Switzerland
Student retreat and course "How to use mixed models in Behavioural Ecology" 14.10.2013 Bratsch (VS), Switzerland
Workshop "Inclusive fitness and game theory" 25.06.2013 Arolla, CH, Switzerland
1st Annual Workshop, 2012 06.12.2012 Beatenberg, Schweiz, Switzerland

Knowledge transfer events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Date Place Persons involved
Student Projects "Science and Art" within the Master in Transdisciplinarity of the ZHdK Performances, exhibitions (e.g. for education institutions) 23.01.2014 Zürich, Switzerland Griesser Michael; Rossetti Valentina;
Kolloquium Science and Art within the Master in Transdisciplinarity of the ZHdK Talk 17.10.2013 Zürich, Switzerland Griesser Michael;


Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Media relations: print media, online media Science Comics German-speaking Switzerland 2013

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
133066 Developmental plasticity of social behaviour: fitness effects, molecular and physiological mechanisms 01.11.2010 Project funding (Div. I-III)
119190 Parent-offspring conflict and the role of behavioural control in the evolution of family interactions 01.05.2008 SNSF Professorships
123520 Role of life-history and ecology in the evolution of families and kin cooperation in birds: An experimental and phylogenetic test of the adaptive delayed dispersal framework 01.03.2010 SNSF Professorships
122511 Evolutionary mechanisms of cooperation and competition: an integrative approach 01.01.2009 Project funding (Div. I-III)
141788 Sociogenomics of cooperation and conflict in families 01.10.2012 ProDoc
141768 Individual strategies in group coordination: the role of spatial organisation and vocal signaling 01.01.2013 ProDoc
133040 the evolution of social behaviour in vervet monkeys: an experimental approach 01.01.2011 Sinergia
125457 Horizontal gene transfer and the evolutionary dynamics of infectious plasmids 01.10.2009 Project funding (Div. I-III)
123344 Gene-culture co-evolutionary theory of individual and social learning of cooperation 01.11.2009 SNSF Professorships
150752 The fall and rise of cooperative breeding and family living in birds 01.03.2014 SNSF Professorships

Abstract

Cooperative behaviour is widespread among individuals at all levels of biological organisation. This poses a problem to traditional views of natural selection, which predicts that individuals should behave selfishly. While much work has been done to resolve the problem of cooperation, recent advances in theoretical and empirical studies made clear that very important questions regarding the general understanding of cooperation are still unresolved. Here, we propose an integrative ProDoc program that will take advantage of the diversity in study systems and conceptual approaches of 12 participating PIs and Co-PIs. The seven planned research modules will involve mathematical modelling and empirical research to determine the mechanisms of cooperation at the levels of genes, physiology, ecology and cognition. Given that at least 28 PhD students and six associated research groups will benefit from a stimulating research environment, our ProDoc program will result in a long-term boost of research on the mechanisms of cooperation, both at the involved research institutes in Switzerland and elsewhere. With the combined expertise of the involved PIs and Co-PIs and the diversity of research approaches pursued in the different modules, we can offer the participating PhD students an outstanding, world-class education and research environment, which will facilitate their development as independent and internationally highly qualified researchers. This ProDoc program will train a critical mass of young researchers to initiate future research programmes bridging across different fields of evolutionary biology. We are confident that this can strengthen the impact of Swiss research in biology at European and global levels.
-