Michelle Simeoni

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Urban areas are expanding rapidly, but a few native species have successfully colonized them. The processes underlying such colonization events are poorly understood. Using the blackbird Turdus merula, a former forest specialist that is now one of the most common urban birds in its range, we provide the first assessment of two contrasting urban colonization(More)
Helping behaviour in cooperative breeding systems has been attributed to kin selection, but the relative roles of direct and indirect fitness benefits in the evolution of such systems remain a matter of debate. In theory, helpers could maximize the indirect fitness benefits of cooperation by investing more in broods with whom they are more closely related,(More)
Kin selection is a major force in social evolution, but dispersal is often assumed to reduce its impact by diluting kinship. In most cooperatively breeding vertebrates, in which more than two individuals care for young, juveniles delay dispersal and become helpers in family groups. In long-tailed tits (Aegithalos caudatus), however, offspring disperse to(More)
Kin selection has played an important role in the evolution and maintenance of cooperative breeding behaviour in many bird species. However, although relatedness has been shown to affect the investment decisions of helpers in such systems, less is known about the role that kin discrimination plays in other contexts, such as communal roosting. Individuals(More)
We characterized 38 microsatellite loci in the European blackbird, Turdus merula. Thirty-seven loci were identified by testing 242 loci that had been originally isolated in other avian species. One additional locus was isolated from a European blackbird genomic library. All loci were characterized in 20-29 blackbirds from a population in the Czech Republic(More)
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