As an evolutionary biologist, my main research goal is to understand what strategies family members use to maximise their fitness in the context of the social environment. In my research, I test hypotheses relating to the evolution of family life using multiple approaches: from behavioural observations, telomeres and other molecular markers, to long-term life history data and species-level comparative analyses. My primary research interest lies in investigating social interactions within families (sexual conflict, parent-offspring conflict and offspring competition).
My current project is funded by a NWO Veni fellowship. In this project, I aim to test whether the extent to which reproductive conflicts over caring for offspring varies according to whether or not carers rely on each other for future fitness benefits. I will be addressing this question by measuring and manipulating hormones levels in caring parents.