5. Social influences on mate choice

Social influences on mate choice
Chairs: Katharina Riebel (University of Leiden) and Kat Bebbington (University of Groningen)

Mate and partner choice are often pivotal moments with far reaching effects on animals’ fitness. Initially studied as fixed individual traits, mating preferences are increasingly recognised to show substantial plasticity arising from learning, condition and social context. In this symposium we want to specifically focus on social influences on individual mate choice such as effects of group composition/options sets on decision making, mate-choice copying, audience and by-stander effects, and the effect the social environment may have on partner retention/divorce decisions. For this symposium we invite contributions looking at the link between the social environment and mate choice based on observational, experimental or theoretical approaches across all taxonomic groups to stimulate discussion on whether we should see mate choice as an individual or social process and what this means for our understanding of the evolution of the mechanisms underlying the context dependency of mating preferences and mate choice.

Tamas Szekely  Can we understand sexual selection without knowing social environment?
Sabine NöbelMate copying in fish and flies
Frigg Speelman, University of Groningen, Groningen, The NetherlandsCauses of mate fidelity and divorce in the Seychelles warbler
Nicolas Doubovetzky, Department of Neurobiology, Groningen Institute for Evolutionary Life Sciences, University of Groningen, Groningen, NetherlandsDrosophila melanogaster females manipulate sperm allocation based on the sensing of pheromones indicative of male quality.
Roger Fusté, Departamento de Ecología Evolutiva, Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales (MNCN), Madrid, SpainClimbing the social ladder: association preferences, network centrality and reproductive status in the spotless starling (Sturnus unicolor).

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