People

All Exeter Staff | All Cornwall Staff

Loading content
Dr  Emma  Vitikainen

Dr Emma Vitikainen

Research Fellow

 01326 371812

Dr Emma Vitikainen with a clan of banded mongoose.

Dr Emma Vitikainen with a clan of banded mongoose.

A fascinating question in evolutionary biology is how and why individuals of social species cooperate. Broadly, my work focuses on how social environment affects individual behaviour and health, and how these effects feed back to social dynamics and evolution of sociality.

There is extensive variation in the rates at which individuals age, and a key challenge is to understand what drives these differences, and why some individuals remain healthy until old age. Life-history theory predicts trade-offs between reproduction, growth and maintenance. These effects may be more complex in cooperatively breeding species, where costs of reproduction can be shared among the helpers in the group, and yet competition over breeding may be costly.

My current project is looking at social influences on ageing in the cooperatively breeding banded mongoose (Mungos mungo). I am particularly interested in how early-life environment and help given to and received from other group members affects life history allocation, health and ageing, and what the proximate role of oxidative stress is in mediating life-history trade-offs.

For my phD I studied the effects of inbreeding in a wild population of the ant Formica exsecta. My other current interests include evolution of kin recognition mechanisms, and cuticular hydrocarbons as mediators of kin recognition and aggression in ants.

Research

Key publications | Publications by category | Publications by year

Key publications


Vitikainen EIK, Marshall HH, Thompson FJ, Sanderson JL, Bell MBV, Gilchrist JS, Hodge SJ, Nichols HJ, Cant MA (2017). Biased escorts: offspring sex, not relatedness explains alloparental care patterns in a cooperative breeder. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences Abstract.  Full text.
Scott K, Heistermann, M, Cant MA, Vitikainen EIK (2017). Group size and visitor number predict faecal glucocorticoid concentrations in zoo meerkats. Royal Society Open Science Full text.
Vitikainen EIK, Cant MA, Sanderson JL, Mitchell C, Nichols HJ, Marshall HH, Thompson FJ, Gilchrist JS, Hodge SJ, Johnstone RA, et al (2016). Evidence of oxidative shielding of offspring in a wild mammal. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution Full text.
Inzani E, Marshall HH, Sanderson JL, Nichols HJ, Thompson FJ, Kalema-Zikusoka G, Hodge SJ, Cant MA, Vitikainen EIK (2016). Female reproductive competition explains variation in prenatal investment in wild banded mongooses. Scientific Reports, 6 Abstract.  Full text.
Vitikainen EIK, Haag-Liautard C, Sundström L (2015). Natal dispersal, mating patterns, and inbreeding in the ant formica exsecta. American Naturalist, 186(6), 716-727. Abstract.  Full text.
Blount JD, Vitikainen EIK, Stott I, Cant MA (2015). Oxidative shielding and the cost of reproduction. Biological Reviews Full text.

Publications by category


Journal articles

Sanderson JL, Wang J, Vitikainen EIK, Cant MA, Nichols HJ (In Press). Banded mongooses avoid inbreeding when mating with members of the same group. Molecular Ecology Full text.
Thompson FJ, Marshall HH, Vitikainen EIK, Cant MA (In Press). Causes and consequences of intergroup conflict in cooperative banded mongooses. Animal Behaviour Full text.
Mitchell J, Vitikainen EIK, Wells DA, cant M, Nichols HJ (In Press). Heterozygosity but not inbreeding coefficient predicts parasite burdens in the banded mongoose. Journal of Zoology Full text.
Thompson FJ, Marshall, Vitikainen, Young AJ, Cant MA (In Press). Individual and demographic consequences of mass eviction in cooperative banded mongooses. Animal Behaviour Full text.
Sheppard CE, Inger R, Macdonald R, Barker S, Jackson A, Thompson F, Vitikainen E, Cant MA, Marshall H (In Press). Intragroup competition predicts individual foraging specialisation in a group-living mammal. Ecology Letters Full text.
Marshall HH, Griffiths DJ, Mwanguhya F, Businge R, Griffiths AGF, Kyabulima S, Mwesige K, Sanderson JL, Thompson FJ, Vitikainen EIK, et al (2018). Data collection and storage in long-term ecological and evolutionary studies: the Mongoose 2000 system. PLoS One, 13(1). Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Hares MC, Vitikainen EIK, Marshall HH, Thompson FJ, Blount JD, Cant MA (2018). Telomere dynamics in wild banded mongooses: Evaluating longitudinal and quasi-longitudinal markers of senescence. Exp Gerontol, 107, 67-73. Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Vitikainen EIK, Marshall HH, Thompson FJ, Sanderson JL, Bell MBV, Gilchrist JS, Hodge SJ, Nichols HJ, Cant MA (2017). Biased escorts: offspring sex, not relatedness explains alloparental care patterns in a cooperative breeder. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences Abstract.  Full text.
Thompson FJ, Cant MA, Marshall HH, Vitikainen, Sanderson JL, Nichols HJ, Gilchrist JS, Bell MBV, Hodge SJ, Young AJ, et al (2017). Explaining negative kin discrimination in a cooperative mammal society. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA Full text.
Scott K, Heistermann, M, Cant MA, Vitikainen EIK (2017). Group size and visitor number predict faecal glucocorticoid concentrations in zoo meerkats. Royal Society Open Science Full text.
Marshall HH, Vitikainen EIK, Mwanguhya F, Businge R, Kyabulima S, Hares MC, Inzani E, Kalema-Zikusosa G, Mwesige K, Nichols HJ, et al (2017). Lifetime fitness consequences of early-life ecological hardship in a wild mammal population. Ecology and Evolution Abstract.  Full text.
Mitchell J, Cant MA, Vitikainen EIK, Nichols HJ (2017). Smelling fit: scent marking exposes parasitic infection status in the banded mongoose. Current Zoology Full text.
Vitikainen EIK, Cant MA, Sanderson JL, Mitchell C, Nichols HJ, Marshall HH, Thompson FJ, Gilchrist JS, Hodge SJ, Johnstone RA, et al (2016). Evidence of oxidative shielding of offspring in a wild mammal. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution Full text.
Inzani E, Marshall HH, Sanderson JL, Nichols HJ, Thompson FJ, Kalema-Zikusoka G, Hodge SJ, Cant MA, Vitikainen EIK (2016). Female reproductive competition explains variation in prenatal investment in wild banded mongooses. Scientific Reports, 6 Abstract.  Full text.
Cooney F, Vitikainen EIK, Marshall HH, van Rooyen W, Smith RL, Cant MA, Goodey N (2016). Lack of aggression and apparent altruism towards intruders in a primitive termite. Royal Society Open Science Abstract.  Full text.
Thompson F, Marshall HH, Sanderson JL, Vitikainen EIK, Nichols HJ, Gilchrist J, Young AJ, Hodge SJ, Cant MA (2016). Reproductive competition triggers mass eviction in cooperative banded mongooses. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London: Biological Sciences Full text.
Marshall HH, Sanderson JL, Mwanguhya F, Businge R, Kyabulima S, Hares MC, Inzani E, Kalema-Zikusoka G, Mwesige K, Thompson FJ, et al (2016). Variable ecological conditions promote male helping by changing banded mongoose group composition. Behavioral Ecology Abstract.  Full text.
Sanderson JL, Nichols H, Marshall HH, Vitikainen E, Thompson F, Walker S, Cant MA, Young AJ (2015). Elevated glucocorticoid concentrations during gestation predict reduced reproductive success in subordinate female banded mongooses. Biology Letters Full text.
Vitikainen EIK, Haag-Liautard C, Sundström L (2015). Natal dispersal, mating patterns, and inbreeding in the ant formica exsecta. American Naturalist, 186(6), 716-727. Abstract.  Full text.
Blount JD, Vitikainen EIK, Stott I, Cant MA (2015). Oxidative shielding and the cost of reproduction. Biological Reviews Full text.
Speakman JR, Speakman JR, Blount JD, Bronikowski AM, Buffenstein R, Isaksson C, Kirkwood TBL, Monaghan P, Ozanne SE, Beaulieu M, et al (2015). Oxidative stress and life histories: Unresolved issues and current needs. Ecology and Evolution Abstract.  Full text.
Sanderson JL, Stott I, Young AJ, Vitikainen E, Hodge SJ, Cant MA (2015). The origins of consistent individual differences in cooperation in wild banded mongooses. Animal Behaviour
Cant MA, Vitikainen E, Nichols HJ (2013). Demography and social evolution of banded mongooses. Advances in the Study of Behavior, 45, 407-445. Abstract.
Martin SJ, Vitikainen E, Shemilt S, Drijfhout FP, Sundström L (2013). Sources of Variation in Cuticular Hydrocarbons in the Ant Formica exsecta. Journal of Chemical Ecology, 39(11-12), 1415-1423. Abstract.
Martin SJ, Vitikainen E, Shemilt S, Drijfhout FP, Sundström L (2013). Sources of variation in cuticular hydrocarbons in the ant Formica exsecta. J Chem Ecol, 39(11-12), 1415-1423. Abstract.  Author URL.
Martin SJ, Vitikainen E, Drijfhout FP, Jackson D (2012). Conspecific ant aggression is correlated with chemical distance, but not with genetic or spatial distance. Behav Genet, 42(2), 323-331. Abstract.  Author URL.
van Zweden JS, Vitikainen E, d'Ettorre P, Sundström L (2011). Do cuticular hydrocarbons provide sufficient information for optimal sex allocation in the ant Formica exsecta?. J Chem Ecol, 37(12), 1365-1373. Abstract.  Author URL.
Vitikainen E, Sundström L (2011). Inbreeding and caste-specific variation in immune defence in the ant Formica exsecta. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 65(5), 899-907. Abstract.
Vitikainen E, Haag-Liautard C, Sundström L (2011). Inbreeding and reproductive investment in the ant Formica exsecta. Evolution, 65(7), 2026-2037. Abstract.  Author URL.
Haag-Liautard C, Vitikainen E, Keller L, Sundström L (2009). Fitness and the level of homozygosity in a social insect. J Evol Biol, 22(1), 134-142. Abstract.  Author URL.
Martin SJ, Vitikainen E, Helanterä H, Drijfhout FP (2008). Chemical basis of nest-mate discrimination in the ant Formica exsecta. Proc Biol Sci, 275(1640), 1271-1278. Abstract.  Author URL.
Ost M, Vitikainen E, Waldeck P, Sundström L, Lindström K, Hollmén T, Franson JC, Kilpi M (2005). Eider females form non-kin brood-rearing coalitions. Mol Ecol, 14(12), 3903-3908. Abstract.  Author URL.

Chapters

Cant MA, Nichols HJ, Thompson FJ, Vitikainen EIK (2016). Banded mongooses: demography, life history, and social behavior. In Koenig WD, Dickinson JL (Eds.) Cooperative breeding in vertebrates: studies of ecology, evolution and behavior, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 318-337.

Publications by year


In Press

Sanderson JL, Wang J, Vitikainen EIK, Cant MA, Nichols HJ (In Press). Banded mongooses avoid inbreeding when mating with members of the same group. Molecular Ecology Full text.
Thompson FJ, Marshall HH, Vitikainen EIK, Cant MA (In Press). Causes and consequences of intergroup conflict in cooperative banded mongooses. Animal Behaviour Full text.
Mitchell J, Vitikainen EIK, Wells DA, cant M, Nichols HJ (In Press). Heterozygosity but not inbreeding coefficient predicts parasite burdens in the banded mongoose. Journal of Zoology Full text.
Thompson FJ, Marshall, Vitikainen, Young AJ, Cant MA (In Press). Individual and demographic consequences of mass eviction in cooperative banded mongooses. Animal Behaviour Full text.
Sheppard CE, Inger R, Macdonald R, Barker S, Jackson A, Thompson F, Vitikainen E, Cant MA, Marshall H (In Press). Intragroup competition predicts individual foraging specialisation in a group-living mammal. Ecology Letters Full text.

2018

Marshall HH, Griffiths DJ, Mwanguhya F, Businge R, Griffiths AGF, Kyabulima S, Mwesige K, Sanderson JL, Thompson FJ, Vitikainen EIK, et al (2018). Data collection and storage in long-term ecological and evolutionary studies: the Mongoose 2000 system. PLoS One, 13(1). Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Hares MC, Vitikainen EIK, Marshall HH, Thompson FJ, Blount JD, Cant MA (2018). Telomere dynamics in wild banded mongooses: Evaluating longitudinal and quasi-longitudinal markers of senescence. Exp Gerontol, 107, 67-73. Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.

2017

Vitikainen EIK, Marshall HH, Thompson FJ, Sanderson JL, Bell MBV, Gilchrist JS, Hodge SJ, Nichols HJ, Cant MA (2017). Biased escorts: offspring sex, not relatedness explains alloparental care patterns in a cooperative breeder. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences Abstract.  Full text.
Marshall HH, Vitikainen EIK, Mwanguhya F, Businge R, Kyabulima S, Hares MC, Inzani E, Kalema-Zikusoka G, Mwesige K, Nichols HJ, et al (2017). Data supporting Marshall et al. (2017) in Ecology and Evolution.  Abstract.
Thompson FJ, Cant MA, Marshall HH, Vitikainen, Sanderson JL, Nichols HJ, Gilchrist JS, Bell MBV, Hodge SJ, Young AJ, et al (2017). Explaining negative kin discrimination in a cooperative mammal society. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA Full text.
Scott K, Heistermann, M, Cant MA, Vitikainen EIK (2017). Group size and visitor number predict faecal glucocorticoid concentrations in zoo meerkats. Royal Society Open Science Full text.
Marshall HH, Vitikainen EIK, Mwanguhya F, Businge R, Kyabulima S, Hares MC, Inzani E, Kalema-Zikusosa G, Mwesige K, Nichols HJ, et al (2017). Lifetime fitness consequences of early-life ecological hardship in a wild mammal population. Ecology and Evolution Abstract.  Full text.
Mitchell J, Cant MA, Vitikainen EIK, Nichols HJ (2017). Smelling fit: scent marking exposes parasitic infection status in the banded mongoose. Current Zoology Full text.

2016

Cant MA, Nichols HJ, Thompson FJ, Vitikainen EIK (2016). Banded mongooses: demography, life history, and social behavior. In Koenig WD, Dickinson JL (Eds.) Cooperative breeding in vertebrates: studies of ecology, evolution and behavior, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 318-337.
Vitikainen EIK, Cant MA, Sanderson JL, Mitchell C, Nichols HJ, Marshall HH, Thompson FJ, Gilchrist JS, Hodge SJ, Johnstone RA, et al (2016). Evidence of oxidative shielding of offspring in a wild mammal. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution Full text.
Inzani E, Marshall HH, Sanderson JL, Nichols HJ, Thompson FJ, Kalema-Zikusoka G, Hodge SJ, Cant MA, Vitikainen EIK (2016). Female reproductive competition explains variation in prenatal investment in wild banded mongooses. Scientific Reports, 6 Abstract.  Full text.
Cooney F, Vitikainen EIK, Marshall HH, van Rooyen W, Smith RL, Cant MA, Goodey N (2016). Lack of aggression and apparent altruism towards intruders in a primitive termite. Royal Society Open Science Abstract.  Full text.
Thompson F, Marshall HH, Sanderson JL, Vitikainen EIK, Nichols HJ, Gilchrist J, Young AJ, Hodge SJ, Cant MA (2016). Reproductive competition triggers mass eviction in cooperative banded mongooses. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London: Biological Sciences Full text.
Marshall HH, Sanderson JL, Mwanguhya F, Businge R, Kyabulima S, Hares MC, Inzani E, Kalema-Zikusoka G, Mwesige K, Thompson FJ, et al (2016). Variable ecological conditions promote male helping by changing banded mongoose group composition. Behavioral Ecology Abstract.  Full text.

2015

Sanderson JL, Nichols H, Marshall HH, Vitikainen E, Thompson F, Walker S, Cant MA, Young AJ (2015). Elevated glucocorticoid concentrations during gestation predict reduced reproductive success in subordinate female banded mongooses. Biology Letters Full text.
Vitikainen EIK, Haag-Liautard C, Sundström L (2015). Natal dispersal, mating patterns, and inbreeding in the ant formica exsecta. American Naturalist, 186(6), 716-727. Abstract.  Full text.
Blount JD, Vitikainen EIK, Stott I, Cant MA (2015). Oxidative shielding and the cost of reproduction. Biological Reviews Full text.
Speakman JR, Speakman JR, Blount JD, Bronikowski AM, Buffenstein R, Isaksson C, Kirkwood TBL, Monaghan P, Ozanne SE, Beaulieu M, et al (2015). Oxidative stress and life histories: Unresolved issues and current needs. Ecology and Evolution Abstract.  Full text.
Sanderson JL, Stott I, Young AJ, Vitikainen E, Hodge SJ, Cant MA (2015). The origins of consistent individual differences in cooperation in wild banded mongooses. Animal Behaviour

2013

Cant MA, Vitikainen E, Nichols HJ (2013). Demography and social evolution of banded mongooses. Advances in the Study of Behavior, 45, 407-445. Abstract.
Martin SJ, Vitikainen E, Shemilt S, Drijfhout FP, Sundström L (2013). Sources of Variation in Cuticular Hydrocarbons in the Ant Formica exsecta. Journal of Chemical Ecology, 39(11-12), 1415-1423. Abstract.
Martin SJ, Vitikainen E, Shemilt S, Drijfhout FP, Sundström L (2013). Sources of variation in cuticular hydrocarbons in the ant Formica exsecta. J Chem Ecol, 39(11-12), 1415-1423. Abstract.  Author URL.

2012

Martin SJ, Vitikainen E, Drijfhout FP, Jackson D (2012). Conspecific ant aggression is correlated with chemical distance, but not with genetic or spatial distance. Behav Genet, 42(2), 323-331. Abstract.  Author URL.

2011

van Zweden JS, Vitikainen E, d'Ettorre P, Sundström L (2011). Do cuticular hydrocarbons provide sufficient information for optimal sex allocation in the ant Formica exsecta?. J Chem Ecol, 37(12), 1365-1373. Abstract.  Author URL.
Vitikainen E, Sundström L (2011). Inbreeding and caste-specific variation in immune defence in the ant Formica exsecta. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 65(5), 899-907. Abstract.
Vitikainen E, Haag-Liautard C, Sundström L (2011). Inbreeding and reproductive investment in the ant Formica exsecta. Evolution, 65(7), 2026-2037. Abstract.  Author URL.

2010

Vitikainen EIK (2010). Causes and consequences of inbreeding in the ant Formica exsecta.  Abstract.  Author URL.

2009

Haag-Liautard C, Vitikainen E, Keller L, Sundström L (2009). Fitness and the level of homozygosity in a social insect. J Evol Biol, 22(1), 134-142. Abstract.  Author URL.

2008

Martin SJ, Vitikainen E, Helanterä H, Drijfhout FP (2008). Chemical basis of nest-mate discrimination in the ant Formica exsecta. Proc Biol Sci, 275(1640), 1271-1278. Abstract.  Author URL.

2005

Ost M, Vitikainen E, Waldeck P, Sundström L, Lindström K, Hollmén T, Franson JC, Kilpi M (2005). Eider females form non-kin brood-rearing coalitions. Mol Ecol, 14(12), 3903-3908. Abstract.  Author URL.

Emma_Vitikainen Details from cache as at 2018-05-23 00:56:42

Refresh publications

Back | Edit Profile