Liza Mitchem

Behavior and the social environment

An animal’s environment is subject to change both within their lifetime and across generations. These changes can be due to seasonality, human disturbance, climate change, or just random chance. Behavior is the only trait that can immediately respond to these changes, so one might expect behaviors to have a large impact on an individual’s ability to survive and reproduce in new environments. My research asks about the factors that determine whether an animal is consistent or plastic in their behaviors across social environments.

How does an individual’s social partners affect their behavioral response from one context to the next?