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BSc-MSc Thesis and Internship Projects, Wageningen University

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Conflict over parental care: are parents negotiating?
Since parental care is costly, evolutionary theory states that each parents wants the other parent to do the majority of the work in raising offspring. One proposed mechanism by which parents are predicted to avoid being exploited ...
Supervisor: Kat Bebbington
Sjouke Anne Kingma

Department: Behavioural Ecology
 
Insect behaviour: Behavioural adaptations against parasite spread in bumblebees. Laboratory based experimental work.
Bumblebees are primitively eusocial insects. They lack many of the sophisticated social defences against parasite spread that are thought to be key to the ecological success of highly eusocial insects, such as honey bees and ants. ...
Supervisor: S�verine Kotrschal
Department: Behavioural Ecology
 
The Cinderella-effect: do stepparents have a negative effect on individuals? [comparative study]
In humans, the prevalence of abuse and violence among step-parents and their step-children is higher than that among that of biological parents and their children. In group-living birds, where individuals stay with their parents f ...
Supervisor: Sjouke A. Kingma
Department: Behavioural Ecology
 
What determines egg size in birds?
Bird eggs are surprisingly different in colour, shape and size. Surprisingly, we do not know why. Using a dataset, augmented with data from handbooks of birds, we will try to find out! ...
Supervisor: Sjouke Anne Kingma
Department: Behavioural Ecology
 
Sexual selection in female birds: what determines sexual dimorphism in colour, song and size?
Birds are highly variable in appearance and size and their song varies substantially. Tradionally this is seen as the result from selection on males to compete for females. Recently, sexual selection was invoked also to explain va ...
Supervisor: Sjouke Anne Kingma
Department: Behavioural Ecology
 
Nest-site selection and habitat preference of savanna birds
In this project, you will determine the habitat characteristics and niches of different species of birds. This can be expanded by determining characteristics of the environment like food availability and by incorporating how these ...
Supervisor: Sjouke A. Kingma
Kat L. Bebbington
(in collaboration with other groups, for example PEN)

Department: Behavioural Ecology
 
The effect of preventive habitat burning and/or bush encroachment on behaviour and nest success of wild birds in Africa
Many African savanna regions undergo shrub encroachment, where open savanna grassland is taken over by dense shrubs. Prescribed fire can help in maintaining and restoring open savanna. While this is a commonly-used management tool ...
Supervisor: Sjouke A. Kingma
Kat L. Bebbington
(in collaboration with other groups, for example PEN)

Department: Behavioural Ecology
 
Professional Internship Zoo - Rotterdam Blijdorp
With the goal of promoting to students a better understanding of the reality of life sciences professionals in institutions like an accredited zoo. We offer the possibility of an internship at Blijdorp Rotterdam Zoo. In this inter ...
Supervisor: Filipe Cunha

Department: Behavioural Ecology
 
The effect of early Testosterone on DNA methylation and great tit (Parus major) personality
Just like humans, great tits consistently differ in a set of correlated behavioural traits. These so called personality traits have a genetic basis, but are shaped by the environment. DNA Methylation is a chemical change of the DN ...
Supervisor: Bernice Sepers & Prof. dr. Kees van Oers (NIOO-KNAW)
Department: Behavioural Ecology
 
Sperm biology and evolution
General background Sperm are critical to successful fertilisation in sexually reproducing animals. The function of sperm – to find and fertilise ova – is universal throughout the animal kingdom, yet the sperm cell is the most mor ...
Supervisor: Dr. Melissah Rowe (NIOO-KNAW)
Department: Behavioural Ecology
 
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