EHAP Speaker Series: The genetic basis of social behavior and life history tradeoffs in a wild primate population
Susan Alberts, Duke University
Are social behaviors heritable? If so, how are they likely to respond to selection? This talk addresses these questions for two important social behaviors — social grooming and aggressive behavior — in a well-studied wild primate population, the baboons of the Amboseli basin in southern Kenya. We took a quantitative genetics approach to this problem, using the large existing pedigree for this population to estimate both the heritability of these traits and to simultaneously examine how these traits are influenced by environmental variables. To frame our work in terms of its likely implications for understanding natural selection, we also examined key female life history traits and investigated the evidence for life history tradeoffs — between reproduction and survival, and between current and future reproduction — in our population.
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