General Overview of Research

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 In the Zink lab we are interested in the evolutionary and ecological processes that generate the broad diversity of animal behavior. Our primary focus is on the evolution of social behaviors such as parental care and communal breeding. More specifically, our work attempts to understand how individuals resolve conflicts over reproductive and parental care asymmetry within their societies. We develop mathematical models and test the predictions of these (and other) models in both lab and field experiments. Currently, we are focusing on the social behavior of salamanders and associated microbes.