Conflict Management in Cooperatively Breeding Cichlid Fishes -

Start time: 16:00 / End time: 17:00 / Date: 13 Nov 2018 / Venue: Lecture Theatre 1 Life Sciences Building

Open to: Students in host dept/school/institute/centre / Staff in host dept/school/institute/centre / Students from same Faculty as host dept/school/institute/centre / Staff from same Faculty as host dept/school/institute/centre / Students within this Faculty / Staff within this Faculty / Specific UOL Students (for details see 'Suitable For') / Specific UOL Staff (for details see 'Suitable For')

Type: Seminar

Cost: Free

Contact: For more information contact Stefan Fischer at

About the event

Speaker: Adam Reddon (Liverpool John Moores University)

In group living species, aggressive conflict with other group members is common. Aggression is costly, requiring time and energy while risking injury and increasing exposure to predation threat. Social species may have adaptations to attenuate conflicts with group members and minimize the costs of aggressive interactions. The highly social cichlid fish, Neolamprologus pulcher lives and breeds within a permanent group of 3-20 adults which collectively defend a small territory. Neolamprologus pulcher groups are organized into linear dominance hierarchies, which largely determine the outcome of aggressive interactions between group members. Body size is the primary basis of social rank. Despite this hierarchical social organization, aggressive interactions among group members are frequent. Subordinate individuals often respond to dominant aggression by producing a signal of submission. I argue that these submissive displays are a key adaptation to group living in this species and are vital for maintaining group stability. I will share my ongoing work on social living and the resolution of conflict within social groups in Neolamprologus pulcher. I will also discuss the importance of the nonapeptide neurohormone, isotocin (the teleost fish homologue of oxytocin), in modulating submissive behaviour and other social responses, and its potential role as a proximate substrate for group living.

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