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Structure Department of Biology
Telephone 0498276258
Qualification Professore associato confermato
Scientific sector BIO/05 - ZOOLOGY
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Curriculum Vitae
Postdoctoral positions & Education

• Post-Doc 2007 – 2013: Sexual selection, condition-dependent mate preferences and female quality. Konrad Lorenz Institute for Ethology, Vienna.

• Post-Doc 2006 – 2007: Project on multiple traits and sexual selection. University of Padova.

• Ph.D in Evolutionary Biology (2006), University of Padova, Italy. Dissertation title: Sexual conflict, mating strategies and honest indicators of mate quality in the rock sparrow (Petronia petronia), (in English).

National and International scientific awards

2013 INTERNATIONAL AWARD: 7th BioMed Central Annual Research Awards -Excellence in Open Access Research- For the paper: Mahr K., Griggio M. *, Granatiero M., Hoi H. (2012) Female attractiveness affects paternal investment: experimental evidence for male differential allocation in blue tits. Frontiers in Zoology, 9:14. (Category: Animal Science, Veterinary Research and Zoology Award, runner-up).

2010 INTERNATIONAL AWARD: «Mario Benazzi e Giuseppina Benazzi Lentati», best young Evolutionary biologist in Zoology (International Award). (10000 €) – Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei.

2007 NATIONAL AWARD: «Maria Teresa e Alessandro Ghigi», best young Italian Zoologist. (2500 €) – Accademia delle Scienze dell'Istituto di Bologna.

2003 NATIONAL AWARD: «Marco Marchesini», best Italian master thesis in Ethology. (1000 €) – Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti.

Research Interests

• Breeding biology, mating strategies and parental investment
• Multiple signals and ornament-armament model
• Male mate choice and female quality
• Female condition and variation in female mate choice
• Sexual selection and plumage colours
• Sexual conflict over parental care
• Social behaviour in birds and fish
• Wildlife management and conservation

Research Summary

My research has focused primarily on the use of visual signals (plumage colours) in communication by birds (both intrasexual and intersexual selection). Based on recent studies a hypothesis has been developed to explain the evolution of female ornaments independently of male showiness. Female ornamentation could be influenced by sexual selection through direct male choice or female-female competition, even apart from the classical case of sex-role reversed species. Moreover, female phenotypes may influence the result of the mate choice because the direct costs and benefits of mating with certain males vary among females. Condition-dependent variation in mate choice may have important evolutionary implications, not only within a population but also between populations. There are relatively few experiments to address how condition and/or genotype influences female mate choice decisions. Using different study species I am investigating these two areas of sexual selection. My research focuses also on parental investment involving negotiation between the sexes and how social birds and social fishes live and interact together, forming complex relationships and social structure (social network analysis).

List of taught course units in A.Y. 2017/18
Degree course code (?) Degree course track Course unit code Course unit name Credits Year Period Lang. Teacher in charge
Details for students enrolled in A.Y. 2017/18
Current A.Y. 2017/18
11 1st Year Second
Details for students enrolled in A.Y. 2016/17
Current A.Y. 2017/18
8 2nd Year First