Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics

Behavioural plasticity as adaptation to the environment

Interactions between individuals and their environment take place on many levels such as perception, communication and decision-making. Knowledge on the variety of cognitive abilities used by individuals to feed or mate is essential to comprehend the adaptive value of behavioural plasticity.

Picking fsansibarica

Interactions between individuals and their environment take place on many levels. We study perception of the involved cues, communication and decision-making. In particualar in large brained species like apes, knowledge on the variety of cognitive abilities used by individuals to feed or mate is essential to comprehend the adaptive value of behavioural plasticity. In general, such plasticity complicates the predictability of the evolutionary fate of the traits in question.

Thrips larva and predatory mite

Learning behaviour

Within their lifetime, animals need to cope with variation in their environment. For example, prey will have to deal with variation in predation risk and predators are confronted with variation in the volatile cues associated with their prey. Animals can cope with this variation by learning the association between cues associated with food or danger and positive or negative experience. We study such learning behaviour using herbivorous plant pests and their natural enemies.

Staff member

  • Prof. S.A. (Serge) Wich


    Special Chair Conservation of the Great Apes
    S.A.Wich@uva.nl

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  • dr. ir. M. (Michiel) van Wijk


    Researcher
    M.vanWijk@uva.nl
    T: 0205258295

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  • dr. C.J.M. (Martijn) Egas


    Assistant Professor
    C.J.M.Egas@uva.nl
    T: 0205257748

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  • dr. A.R.M. (Arne) Janssen


    Associate Professor
    A.R.M.Janssen@uva.nl
    T: 0205257751

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  • dr. I.M. (Isabel) Smallegange


    Assistant Professor
    I.Smallegange@uva.nl
    T: 0205255483

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  • dr. A.T. (Astrid) Groot


    Associate Professor
    A.T.Groot@uva.nl
    T: 0205255400
    T: 0205257750

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Published by  IBED

30 October 2017