Safi K. Darden

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The social fine structure of a population plays a central role in ecological and evolutionary processes. Whilst many studies have investigated how morphological traits such as size affect social structure of populations, comparatively little is known about the influence of behaviours such as boldness and shyness. Using information on social interactions in(More)
Prolonged life after reproduction is difficult to explain evolutionarily unless it arises as a physiological side effect of increased longevity or it benefits related individuals (i.e., increases inclusive fitness). There is little evidence that postreproductive life spans are adaptive in nonhuman animals. By using multigenerational records for two killer(More)
Across sexually reproducing species, males and females are in conflict over the control of reproduction. At the heart of this conflict in a number of taxa is male harassment of females for mating opportunities and female strategies to avoid this harassment. One neglected consequence that may result from sexual harassment is the disruption of important(More)
Understanding how individuals modify their social interactions in response to infectious disease is of central importance for our comprehension of how disease dynamics operate in real-world populations. Whilst a significant amount of theoretical work has modelled disease transmission using network models, we have comparatively little understanding of how(More)
Male sexual harassment of females is common across sexually reproducing species and can result in fitness costs to females. We hypothesized that females can reduce unwanted male attention by constructing a social niche where their female associates are more sexually attractive than themselves, thus influencing the decision-making of males to their(More)
Frequency-dependent predation has been proposed as a general mechanism driving the phenotypic assortment of social groups via the 'oddity effect', which occurs when the presence of odd individuals in a group allows a predator to fixate on a single prey item, increasing the predator's attack-to-kill ratio. However, the generality of the oddity effect has(More)
Sexual conflict is ubiquitous across taxa. It often results in male harassment of females for mating opportunities that are costly for females, in some cases reducing reproductive success and increasing mortality. One strategy that females may employ to avoid sexual harassment is to segregate spatially from males. In fact, we do find sexual segregation in(More)
The role of relatedness in structuring animal societies has attracted considerable interest. Whilst a significant number of studies have documented kin recognition in shoaling fish under laboratory conditions, there is little evidence that relatedness plays a significant role in structuring social interactions in wild populations that are characterised by(More)
The use of non-invasive genetic sampling (NGS) is becoming increasingly important in the study of wild animal populations. Obtaining DNA from faecal samples is of particular interest because faeces can be collected without deploying sample capture devices. However, PCR amplification of DNA extracted from faeces is problematic because of high concentrations(More)