Dr. Kathreen E. Ruckstuhl
Associate Professor & Past President, Canadian Section of TWS, University of Calgary, Biological Sciences
- Professor at University of Calgary since 2004
- Postdoctoral research, Cambridge University, 1999-2004
- PhD, University of Sherbrooke, Quebec, on foraging behaviour and sexual segregation in bighorn sheep.
- MSc, University of Berne, Switzerland, on mother-kid behaviour in Alpine chamois
Research in brief
The study of factors leading animals to be solitary, aggregate, or to form different types of groups is central to an understanding of the evolution of sociality. What causes males and females to live in separate groups in many ungulate species (this is also termed sexual segregation), for example, is still poorly understood, despite much research. I am therefore particularly interested in what factors drive gregariousness, and how sexual segregation evolved and what is causing it.
I am interested in the social organization within groups, affinities and associations between group members, cost and benefits of group living, such as competition for food and mates, parasite and disease transmission, and cooperation, to name but a few aspects. My most recent efforts are focusing on understanding social network structures in different animal societies and the benefits/potential costs that could be associated with certain positions within a network. My current students study a variety of vertebrate species in the field (or lab), such as bighorn sheep, coyotes, Columbian ground squirrels, and fish (lab), with a research focus on parasites, ecology and behaviour. Fore more details you can click the research tab or look at my students' research.