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Professor Michael Cant

Professor Michael Cant

Professor of Evolutionary Biology

 01326 253771

 Daphne du Maurier 3048

 

Daphne du Maurier Building, University of Exeter,  Penryn Campus, Penryn, Cornwall, TR10 9FE, UK

A mongoose huddle

A mongoose huddle

I study the evolution of social behaviour and life history in social animals ranging from insects to primates. I use evolutionary models to make predictions about how individuals should respond to each other's behaviour and to their environment, and test these predictions through experiments and observations on a range of social species. The goal is to discover general principles that explain variation in the way that animals cooperate or compete with one another, and how different types of animal society evolved. 

My main research organism is the banded mongoose, a highly cooperative mammal which lives in mixed-sex groups of around 20 individuals. This species is unusual because all adult females in each group mate and give birth together on the same day, but most of the post-natal care of offspring is provided by non-breeding males.  I run a long-term study of a population of around 250 animals in Queen Elizabeth National Park, western Uganda. We use this population to study social influences on aging and life history, the causes and consequences of within- and intergroup conflict, and the evolution of helping behaviour.

In addition to banded mongooses I work on a population of paper wasps in southern Spain with Prof Jeremy Field (Exeter, Biosciences), and on a population of resident killer whales off the northwest coast of the USA with Prof Darren Croft (Exeter, Psychology). My main collaborator for theoretical work is Prof Rufus Johnstone (Cambridge, Zoology). Together we have developed theoretical models to understand competition within groups, and life history evolution in humans and other long-lived social animals. I recently started a laboratory project on social evolution in primitive termites. For further information and publications on all my research see my group website socialisresearch.org.

I am a member of the Behaviour research group, and the Human Biological and Cultural Evolution Group. For publications, videos and further information on my research see my group website here.

Latest news: May 2016: Explore our brand new website socialisresearch.org. In May 2015 Michael won a 5 year Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award. Listen to Michael on Radio 4's The Human Hive; or to his audio diary from Uganda on NERC's Planet Earth website (starts 2:45). Read about his recent research on why only humans and two species of whale have evolved menopause; how banded mongoose 'escorts' pass on foraging traditions to the offspring in their care; and the conflicts that lie beneath the surface of apparently cooperative animal societies.

Qualifications

1999 PhD, University of Cambridge
1993 BSc(Hons) Zoology 1st Class, University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne

Career

2015 Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award
2013 Professor of Evolutionary Biology
2011 Associate Professor, Centre for Ecology and Conservation, University of Exeter, Penryn Campus
2007 Royal Society University Research Fellow, Centre for Ecology and Conservation, University of Exeter, Penryn Campus
2003 Royal Society University Research Fellow, Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge
2001 Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 Research Fellow. Department of Neurobiology and Behavior, Cornell University, New York, USA
1999 Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Biology, University College London

Links

Research

Research interests

I work on the evolution of conflict and cooperation in animal societies using a combination of field-based research and game-theoretical modelling. Field studies focus on two model systems: cooperatively breeding banded mongooses in Uganda, and paper wasps in southern Spain. I have also recently started a project on intergroup conflict in termites. My current interests include:

  • Intergroup conflict and the evolution of social cohesion
  • Conflict over reproduction in cooperative societies
  • Development and aging in social organisms
  • Demography and kin selection
  • The evolution of menopause and human life history

Research projects

Banded Mongoose Research Project (See www.bandedmongoose.org)

Banded mongooses live in highly cooperative groups of twenty or more adults of both sexes, plus offspring. They are unusual among cooperative vertebrates because multiple females in each group reproduce together in each breeding attempt. I began working on banded mongooses in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda, in 1995, and the population has been studied continuously since then. We now have a continuous database with information on behaviour and life history from birth to death for over 2000 individuals. We are currently investigating mechanisms of reproductive control; early-life influences on future social behaviour; social influences on aging and physiological senescence; and the hormonal basis of helping behaviour. Full details of the project can be found on our project website (see the link above).

Social evolution in primitively eusocial insects

I have worked extensively with Prof Jeremy Field at the University of Sussex to develop and test theory about the evolution of social behaviour in small animal societies, using paper wasps as a model system. In this species, foundresses form small groups in early spring and cooperate to build a nest and provision developing larvae. Even though all the females are mated and could potentially breed, on each nest typically one 'dominant' female lays most of the eggs while the other 'subordinate' foundresses do most of the work of finding food and expanding the nest. We have shown using simple removal experiments that individual females adjust their helping effort and aggression according to their probability of inheriting the nest in future, should the dominant die. Specifically, foundresses help less, and become more aggressive, as they approach the front of the social queue to inherit the top breeding position. These are the patterns our simple models predict, if the wasps are maximizing their inclusive fitness. An important outstanding question is how females resolve conflicts so that the group remains stable. How are conflicts settled? Why do some subordinates lay eggs in the nest, whereas others do not? Do wasps 'negotiate' over how hard they will work, or how many eggs they will lay? How do dominant females deter subordinates from challenging their position?

The evolution of menopause and human life history

An enduring puzzle of human life history is why women cease reproduction mid-way through life. This mismatch between reproductive and somatic senescence is extremely rare: among mammals only killer whales and pilot whales are known to exhibit a similar pattern. In collaboration with Dr Rufus Johnstone at the University of Cambridge I have developed a series of new models which suggest that the evolution of menopause may be linked to demography. In particular, our models predict that unusual patterns of dispersal predispose humans, and some toothed whales, to early reproductive cessation and late life helping.

Evolutionary principles of war and peace

I have recently become interested in intergroup conflict as a unifying factor in the evolution of individuality, social cohesion and biological complexity. Humans are often cited as among the most cooperative of animals, but the flipside is that they are also among the most discriminatory, hostile, and violent towards people they perceive as outsiders. The idea that warfare among ancestral human bands increased social cohesion and promoted cooperation has been around for centuries, and was discussed extensively by Darwin in his 1871 book The Descent of Man. Intergroup conflict is also widespread in other animals, and varies in frequency and intensity for reasons that are not well understood. In the last twenty years the idea that warfare shaped the evolution of human societies has been formalised in population genetic and game theoretical models which examine the spread of cooperative alleles on an evolutionary time scale, i.e., over hundreds or thousands of generations. But we have surprisingly little theory to understand the behavioural causes and consequences of intergroup conflict – how individuals and groups should respond to attacks, or to rapid changes in their ecological and social environment that occur within the lifetime of group members. Together with Rufus Johnstone I am working on new theoretical models to address this issue, with the aim of testing them across a range of social organisms, from social insects to primates, including humans.

 

Research networks

Rufus Johnstone, Hazel Nichols, Marta Manser, Neil Jordan, Sarah Hodge

Research grants

  • 2016 NERC Std Grant
    Transgenerational costs of reproduction and the evolution of life histories
  • 2012 NERC
    Early life influences on the development of cooperation in wild mammals
  • 2012 ERC Consolidators Grant
    Social development and life history evolution in cooperative mammals: an integrated approach
  • 2009 NERC
    Social influences on aging in a wild cooperative mammal
  • 2008 NERC
    Adaptive suppression of subordinate reproduction in cooperative mammals
  • 2007 NERC
    Reproductive conflict in cooperative mammal societies: an experimental approach
  • 2007 Royal Society University Research Fellowship
    The evolution of cooperation and conflict in animal societies
  • 2002 Royal Society University Research Fellowship
    The evolution of cooperation and conflict in animal societies
  • 2000 Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851
    Reproductive conflict and the evolution of helping in animal societies

Key publications | Publications by category | Publications by year

Key publications


Sheppard CE, Marshall HH, Inger R, Thompson FJ, Vitikainen EIK, Barker S, Nichols HJ, Wells DA, McDonald RA, Cant MA, et al (2018). Decoupling of Genetic and Cultural Inheritance in a Wild Mammal. Curr Biol, 28(11), 1846-1850.e2. Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Sheppard CE, Inger R, McDonald RA, Barker S, Jackson AL, Thompson FJ, Vitikainen EIK, Cant MA, Marshall HH (2018). Intragroup competition predicts individual foraging specialisation in a group-living mammal. Ecology Letters, 21(5), 665-673. Abstract.  Full text.
Thompson FJ, Cant MA, Marshall HH, Vitikainen EIK, Sanderson JL, Nichols HJ, Gilchrist JS, Bell MBV, Young AJ, Hodge SJ, et al (2017). Explaining negative kin discrimination in a cooperative mammal society. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 114(20), 5207-5212. Full text.
Croft DP, Johnstone RA, Ellis S, Nattrass S, Franks DW, Brent LJN, Mazzi S, Balcomb KC, Ford JKB, Cant MA, et al (2017). Reproductive Conflict and the Evolution of Menopause in Killer Whales. Current Biology, 27(2), 298-304. Abstract.  Full text.
Brent LJN, Franks DW, Foster EA, Balcomb KC, Cant MA, Croft DP (2015). Ecological knowledge, leadership, and the evolution of menopause in killer whales. Current Biology, 25(6), 746-750. Abstract.  Full text.
Cant MA, Nichols HJ, Johnstone RA, Hodge SJ (2014). Policing of reproduction by hidden threats in a cooperative mammal. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 111(1), 326-330. Abstract.  Author URL.

Publications by category


Journal articles

Ellis S, Franks DW, Nattrass S, Cant M, Bradley DL, Giles D, Balcomb K, Croft DP (In Press). Post-reproductive lifespans are rare in mammals. Ecology and Evolution Full text.
Wells DA, Cant MA, Nichols HJ, Hoffman JI (2018). A high-quality pedigree and genetic markers both reveal inbreeding depression for quality but not survival in a cooperative mammal. Mol Ecol, 27(9), 2271-2288. Abstract.  Author URL.  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.
Sheppard CE, Marshall HH, Inger R, Thompson FJ, Vitikainen EIK, Barker S, Nichols HJ, Wells DA, McDonald RA, Cant MA, et al (2018). Decoupling of Genetic and Cultural Inheritance in a Wild Mammal. Curr Biol, 28(11), 1846-1850.e2. Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Thompson F, Cant MA (2018). Dynamic conflict among heterogeneous groups: a comment on Christensen and Radford. Behavioral Ecology Full text.
Sheppard CE, Inger R, McDonald RA, Barker S, Jackson AL, Thompson FJ, Vitikainen EIK, Cant MA, Marshall HH (2018). Intragroup competition predicts individual foraging specialisation in a group-living mammal. Ecology Letters, 21(5), 665-673. Abstract.  Full text.
Mitchell J, Kyabulima S, Businge R, Cant MA, Nichols HJ (2018). Kin discrimination via odour in the cooperatively breeding banded mongoose. R Soc Open Sci, 5(3). Abstract.  Author URL.
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.
O'Brien S, Luján AM, Paterson S, Cant MA, Buckling A (2017). Adaptation to public goods cheats in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Proc Biol Sci, 284(1859). 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. Proc Biol Sci, 284(1854). Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Thompson FJ, Marshall HH, Vitikainen EIK, Cant MA (2017). Causes and consequences of intergroup conflict in cooperative banded mongooses. Animal Behaviour, 126, 31-40. Abstract.  Full text.
Thompson FJ, Cant MA, Marshall HH, Vitikainen EIK, Sanderson JL, Nichols HJ, Gilchrist JS, Bell MBV, Young AJ, Hodge SJ, et al (2017). Explaining negative kin discrimination in a cooperative mammal society. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 114(20), 5207-5212. 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.
Thompson FJ, Marshall HH, Vitikainen EIK, Young AJ, Cant MA (2017). Individual and demographic consequences of mass eviction in cooperative banded mongooses. Animal Behaviour, 134, 103-112. 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). Lifetime fitness consequences of early-life ecological hardship in a wild mammal population. Ecology and Evolution, 7(6), 1712-1724. Abstract.  Full text.
Ellis S, Franks DW, Nattrass S, Cant MA, Weiss MN, Giles D, Balcomb KC, Croft DP (2017). Mortality risk and social network position in resident killer whales: Sex differences and the importance of resource abundance. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 284(1865). Abstract.  Full text.
Mitchell J, Cant MA, Nichols HJ (2017). Pregnancy is detected via odour in a wild cooperative breeder. Biol Lett, 13(11). Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Croft DP, Johnstone RA, Ellis S, Nattrass S, Franks DW, Brent LJN, Mazzi S, Balcomb KC, Ford JKB, Cant MA, et al (2017). Reproductive Conflict and the Evolution of Menopause in Killer Whales. Current Biology, 27(2), 298-304. 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, 4 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.
Mitchell J, Vitikainen EIK, Wells DA, Cant MA, Nichols HJ (2016). Heterozygosity but not inbreeding coefficient predicts parasite burdens in the banded mongoose. Journal of Zoology, 302(1), 32-39. 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.
Blount JD, Vitikainen EIK, Stott I, Cant MA (2016). Oxidative shielding and the cost of reproduction. Biological Reviews, 91(2), 483-497. Abstract.  Full text.
Thompson FJ, Marshall HH, Sanderson JL, Vitikainen EIK, Nichols HJ, Gilchrist JS, Young AJ, Hodge SJ, Cant MA (2016). Reproductive competition triggers mass eviction in cooperative banded mongooses. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 283(1826), 20152607-20152607. Full text.
Franks DW, Nattrass S, Brent LJN, Whitehead H, Foote AD, Mazzi S, Ford JKB, Balcomb KC, Cant MA, Croft DP, et al (2016). The significance of postreproductive lifespans in killer whales: a comment on Robeck et al.: Table 1. Journal of Mammalogy, 97(3), 906-909.
Marshall HH, Sanderson JL, Mwanghuya 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. Behav Ecol, 27(4), 978-987. Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Nichols HJ, Cant MA, Sanderson JL (2015). Adjustment of costly extra-group paternity according to inbreeding risk in a cooperative mammal. Behavioral Ecology, 26(6), 1486-1494. Abstract.
Sanderson JL, Wang J, Vitikainen EIK, Cant MA, Nichols HJ (2015). Banded mongooses avoid inbreeding when mating with members of the same natal group. Molecular Ecology, 24(14), 3738-3751. Full text.
Brent LJN, Franks DW, Foster EA, Balcomb KC, Cant MA, Croft DP (2015). Ecological knowledge, leadership, and the evolution of menopause in killer whales. Current Biology, 25(6), 746-750. Abstract.  Full text.
Sanderson JL, Nichols HJ, Marshall HH, Vitikainen EIK, Thompson FJ, Walker SL, Cant MA, Young AJ (2015). Elevated glucocorticoid concentrations during gestation predict reduced reproductive success in subordinate female banded mongooses. Biol Lett, 11(10). Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Croft DP, Brent LJN, Franks DW, Cant MA (2015). The evolution of prolonged life after reproduction. Trends Ecol Evol, 30(7), 407-416. Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Sanderson JL, Stott I, Young AJ, Vitikainen EIK, Hodge SJ, Cant MA (2015). The origins of consistent individual differences in cooperation in wild banded mongooses, Mungos mungo. Animal Behaviour, 107, 193-200. Abstract.
Donaldson L, Thompson FJ, Field J, Cant MA (2014). Do paper wasps negotiate over helping effort?. Behavioral Ecology, 25(1), 88-94. Abstract.
Thompson FJ, Donaldson L, Johnstone RA, Field J, Cant MA (2014). Dominant aggression as a deterrent signal in paper wasps. Behavioral Ecology, 25(4), 706-715. Abstract.
Nichols HJ, Cant MA, Hoffman JI, Sanderson JL (2014). Evidence for frequent incest in a cooperatively breeding mammal. Biology Letters, 10(12), 20140898-20140898. Full text.
Sanderson JL, Young AJ, Hodge SJ, Kyabulima S, Walker SL, Cant MA (2014). Hormonal mediation of a carry-over effect in a wild cooperative mammal. Functional Ecology, 28(6), 1377-1386. Abstract.
Cant MA, Nichols HJ, Johnstone RA, Hodge SJ (2014). Policing of reproduction by hidden threats in a cooperative mammal. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 111(1), 326-330. Abstract.  Author URL.
Port M, Cant MA (2014). Reproductive Competition Among Males in Multimale Groups of Primates: Modeling the Costs and Effectiveness of Conflict. International Journal of Primatology, 35(3-4), 746-763. Abstract.
Bell MBV, Cant MA, Borgeaud C, Thavarajah N, Samson J, Clutton-Brock TH (2014). Suppressing subordinate reproduction provides benefits to dominants in cooperative societies of meerkats. Nat Commun, 5 Abstract.  Author URL.
Green JP, Cant MA, Field J (2014). Using social parasitism to test reproductive skew models in a primitively eusocial wasp. Proc Biol Sci, 281(1789). Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Cant MA, Vitikainen E, Nichols HJ (2013). Demography and social evolution of banded mongooses. Advances in the Study of Behavior, 45, 407-445. Abstract.
Port M, Cant MA (2013). Longevity suppresses conflict in animal societies. Biol Lett, 9(5). Abstract.  Author URL.
Cant MA, Young AJ (2013). Resolving social conflict among females without overt aggression. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci, 368(1631). Abstract.  Author URL.
Jansen DAWAM, Cant MA, Manser MB (2013). Testing for vocal individual discrimination in adult banded mongooses. Journal of Zoology, 291(3), 171-177. Abstract.
Nichols HJ, Jordan NR, Jamie GA, Cant MA, Hoffman JI (2012). Fine-scale spatiotemporal patterns of genetic variation reflect budding dispersal coupled with strong natal philopatry in a cooperatively breeding mammal. Molecular Ecology, 21(21), 5348-5362. Abstract.
Nichols HJ, Amos W, Bell MBV, Mwanguhya F, Kyabulima S, Cant MA (2012). Food availability shapes patterns of helping effort in a cooperative mongoose. Animal Behaviour, 83(6), 1377-1385. Abstract.
Nichols HJ, Bell MBV, Hodge SJ, Cant MA (2012). Resource limitation moderates the adaptive suppression of subordinate breeding in a cooperatively breeding mongoose. Behavioral Ecology, 23(3), 635-642. Abstract.
Jansen DAWAM, Cant MA, Manser MB (2012). Segmental concatenation of individual signatures and context cues in banded mongoose (Mungos mungo) close calls. BMC Biol, 10 Abstract.  Author URL.
Johnstone RA, Cant MA, Field J (2012). Sex-biased dispersal, haplodiploidy and the evolution of helping in social insects. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 279(1729), 787-793. Abstract.
Cant MA (2012). Suppression of social conflict and evolutionary transitions to cooperation. Am Nat, 179(2), 293-301. Abstract.  Author URL.
Bell MBV, Nichols HJ, Gilchrist JS, Cant MA, Hodge SJ (2012). The cost of dominance: Suppressing subordinate reproduction affects the reproductive success of dominant female banded mongooses. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 279(1728), 619-624. Abstract.
Abbot P, Abe J, Alcock J, Alizon S, Alpedrinha JAC, Andersson M, Andre JB, Van Baalen M, Balloux F, Balshine S, et al (2011). Inclusive fitness theory and eusociality. Nature, 471(7339).
Furrer RD, Kyabulima S, Willems EP, Cant MA, Manser MB (2011). Location and group size influence decisions in simulated intergroup encounters in banded mongooses. Behavioral Ecology, 22(3), 493-500. Abstract.
Hodge SJ, Bell MBV, Cant MA (2011). Reproductive competition and the evolution of extreme birth synchrony in a cooperative mammal. Biology Letters, 7(1), 54-56. Abstract.
Jordan NR, Manser MB, Mwanguhya F, Kyabulima S, Rüedi P, Cant MA (2011). Scent marking in wild banded mongooses: 1. Sex-specific scents and overmarking. Animal Behaviour, 81(1), 31-42. Abstract.
Jordan NR, Mwanguhya F, Furrer RD, Kyabulima S, Rüedi P, Cant MA (2011). Scent marking in wild banded mongooses: 2. Intrasexual overmarking and competition between males. Animal Behaviour, 81(1), 43-50. Abstract.
Jordan NR, Mwanguhya F, Kyabulima S, Rüedi P, Hodge SJ, Cant MA (2011). Scent marking in wild banded mongooses: 3. Intrasexual overmarking in females. Animal Behaviour, 81(1), 51-60. Abstract.
Cant MA (2011). The role of threats in animal cooperation. Proc Biol Sci, 278(1703), 170-178. Abstract.  Author URL.
Müller CA, Cant MA (2010). Imitation and traditions in wild banded mongooses. Current Biology, 20(13), 1171-1175. Abstract.
Cant MA, Hodge SJ, Bell MBV, Gilchrist JS, Nichols HJ (2010). Reproductive control via eviction (but not the threat of eviction) in banded mongooses. Proc Biol Sci, 277(1691), 2219-2226. Abstract.  Author URL.
Jordan NR, Mwanguhya F, Kyabulima S, Rueedi P, Cant MA (2010). Scent marking within and between groups of wild banded mongooses. JOURNAL OF ZOOLOGY, 280(1), 72-83. Author URL.
Johnstone RA, Cant MA (2010). The evolution of menopause in cetaceans and humans: the role of demography. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 277(1701), 3765-3771. Abstract.
Nichols HJ, Amos W, Cant MA, Bell MBV, Hodge SJ (2010). Top males gain high reproductive success by guarding more successful females in a cooperatively breeding mongoose. Animal Behaviour, 80(4), 649-657. Abstract.
Cant MA, Johnstone RA (2009). How threats influence the evolutionary resolution of within-group conflict. American Naturalist, 173(6), 759-771. Abstract.  Full text.
Field J, Cant MA (2009). Social stability and helping in small animal societies. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 364(1533), 3181-3189. Abstract.
Cant MA, Johnstone RA (2008). Reproductive conflict and the separation of reproductive generations in humans. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 105(14), 5332-5336. Abstract.  Author URL.
Johnstone RA, Cant MA (2008). Sex differences in dispersal and the evolution of helping and harming. Am Nat, 172(3), 318-330. Abstract.  Author URL.
Field J, Cant MA (2007). Direct fitness, reciprocity and helping: a perspective from primitively eusocial wasps. Behavioural Processes, 76(2), 160-162.
Buston PM, Reeve HK, Cant MA, Vehrencamp SL, Emlen ST (2007). Reproductive skew and the evolution of group dissolution tactics: a synthesis of concession and restraint models. Animal Behaviour, 74(6), 1643-1654. Abstract.
Buston PM, Cant MA (2006). A new perspective on size hierarchies in nature: Patterns, causes, and consequences. Oecologia, 149(2), 362-372. Abstract.
Cant MA (2006). A tale of two theories: Parent-offspring conflict and reproductive skew. Animal Behaviour, 71(2), 255-263. Abstract.
Cant MA, Shen SF (2006). Endogenous timing in competitive interactions among relatives. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 273(1583), 171-178. Abstract.
Cant MA, English S, Reeve HK, Field J (2006). Escalated conflict in a social hierarchy. Proc Biol Sci, 273(1604), 2977-2984. Abstract.  Author URL.
Field J, Cant MA (2006). Helping effort in primitively eusocial wasps. Annales Zoologici Fennici, 43, 481-487.
Cant MA, Llop JB, Field J (2006). Individual variation in social aggression and the probability of inheritance: theory and a field test. Am Nat, 167(6), 837-852. Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Cant MA, Johnstone RA (2006). Self-serving punishment and the evolution of cooperation. J Evol Biol, 19(5), 1383-1385. Author URL.
Cant MA, English S (2006). Stable group size in cooperative breeders: the role of inheritance and reproductive skew. Behavioral Ecology, 17(4), 560-568. Abstract.
Cant MA, Field J (2005). Helping effort in a dominance hierarchy. Behavioral Ecology, 16(4), 708-715. Abstract.
Shreeves G, Cant MA, Bolton A, Field J (2003). Insurance-based advantages for subordinate co-foundresses in a temperate paper wasp. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 270(1524), 1617-1622. Abstract.
Cant MA (2003). Patterns of helping effort in co-operatively breeding banded mongooses (Mungos mungo). Journal of Zoology, 259(2), 115-121. Abstract.
Cant MA, Reeve HK (2002). Female control of the distribution of paternity in cooperative breeders. American Naturalist, 160(5), 602-611. Abstract.
Cant MA, Otali E, Mwanguhya F (2002). Fighting and mating between groups in a cooperatively breeding mammal, the banded mongoose. Ethology, 108(6), 541-555. Abstract.
Cant MA, Otali E, Mwanguhya F (2001). Eviction and dispersal in co-operatively breeding banded mongooses (Mungos mungo). Journal of Zoology, 254(2), 155-162. Abstract.
Cant MA, Field J (2001). Helping effort and future fitness in cooperative animal societies. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 268(1479), 1959-1964. Abstract.
Cant MA, Johnstone RA (2000). Power Struggles, Dominance Testing, and Reproductive Skew. Am Nat, 155(3), 406-417. Abstract.  Author URL.
Cant MA (2000). Social control of reproduction in banded mongooses. Anim Behav, 59(1), 147-158. Abstract.  Author URL.
Cant MA, Johnstone RA (1999). Costly young and reproductive skew in animal societies. Behavioral Ecology, 10(2), 178-184. Abstract.
Johnstone RA, Cant MA (1999). Reproductive skew and indiscriminate infanticide. Anim Behav, 57(1), 243-249. Abstract.  Author URL.
Johnstone RA, Cant MA (1999). Reproductive skew and the threat of eviction: a new perspective. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 266(1416), 275-279. Abstract.
Johnstone RA, Woodroffe R, Cant MA, Wright J (1999). Reproductive skew in multimember groups. American Naturalist, 153(3), 315-331. Abstract.
Cant MA (1998). A model for the evolution of reproductive skew without reproductive suppression. Animal Behaviour, 55(1), 163-169. Abstract.
McLachlan A, Cant M (1995). Small males are more symmetrical: mating success in the midge Chironomus plumosus (Diptera:Chrinomidae). Animal Behaviour, 50, 748-755.
McLachlan A, Cant M (1995). Small males are more symmetrical: mating success in the midge Chironomus plumosus L. (Diptera: Chironomidae). Animal Behaviour, 50(3), 841-846.

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.
Cant MA (2015). Reproductive suppression. In Whelehan P, Bolin A (Eds.) The International Encyclopedia of Human Sexuality, Oxford: John Wiley and Sons Ltd.
Cant MA (2013). Cooperative breeding. In  (Ed) The Princeton Guide to Evolution, Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Cant MA, Gilchrist JS (2013). The banded mongoose (Mungos Mungo). In Kingdon J, Happold D, Butynski TM, Hoffmann M, Happold M, Kalina J (Eds.) The Mammals of Africa V: Carnivores, Pangolins, Equids and Rhinoceroses, London: a & C Black Publishers, 354-360.
Cant MA (2012). Cooperative breeding systems. In Royle NJ, Smiseth PT, Koelliker M (Eds.) The Evolution of Parental Care, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 206-225.
Johnstone R, Cant, M.A. (2009). Models of reproductive skew: outside options and the resolution of reproductive conflict. In Hager R, Jones CB (Eds.) Reproductive Skew in Vertebrates, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 3-23.  Abstract.
Cant MA, Johnstone RA, Russell AF (2009). Reproductive conflict and the evolution of menopause. In Hager R, Jones CB (Eds.) Reproductive Skew in Vertebrates, in Reproductive Skew in Vertebrates: Cambridge University Press, 24-52.  Abstract.
Field J, Cant, M.A. (2009). Reproductive skew in primitively eusocial insects: lessons for vertebrates. In Hager R, Jones CB (Eds.) Reproductive Skew in Vertebrates, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 305-334.  Abstract.

Publications by year


In Press

Ellis S, Franks DW, Nattrass S, Cant M, Bradley DL, Giles D, Balcomb K, Croft DP (In Press). Post-reproductive lifespans are rare in mammals. Ecology and Evolution Full text.

2018

Wells DA, Cant MA, Nichols HJ, Hoffman JI (2018). A high-quality pedigree and genetic markers both reveal inbreeding depression for quality but not survival in a cooperative mammal. Mol Ecol, 27(9), 2271-2288. Abstract.  Author URL.  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.
Sheppard CE, Marshall HH, Inger R, Thompson FJ, Vitikainen EIK, Barker S, Nichols HJ, Wells DA, McDonald RA, Cant MA, et al (2018). Decoupling of Genetic and Cultural Inheritance in a Wild Mammal. Curr Biol, 28(11), 1846-1850.e2. Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Thompson F, Cant MA (2018). Dynamic conflict among heterogeneous groups: a comment on Christensen and Radford. Behavioral Ecology Full text.
Sheppard CE, Inger R, McDonald RA, Barker S, Jackson AL, Thompson FJ, Vitikainen EIK, Cant MA, Marshall HH (2018). Intragroup competition predicts individual foraging specialisation in a group-living mammal. Ecology Letters, 21(5), 665-673. Abstract.  Full text.
Mitchell J, Kyabulima S, Businge R, Cant MA, Nichols HJ (2018). Kin discrimination via odour in the cooperatively breeding banded mongoose. R Soc Open Sci, 5(3). Abstract.  Author URL.
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

O'Brien S, Luján AM, Paterson S, Cant MA, Buckling A (2017). Adaptation to public goods cheats in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Proc Biol Sci, 284(1859). 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. Proc Biol Sci, 284(1854). Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Thompson FJ, Marshall HH, Vitikainen EIK, Cant MA (2017). Causes and consequences of intergroup conflict in cooperative banded mongooses. Animal Behaviour, 126, 31-40. 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 EIK, Sanderson JL, Nichols HJ, Gilchrist JS, Bell MBV, Young AJ, Hodge SJ, et al (2017). Explaining negative kin discrimination in a cooperative mammal society. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 114(20), 5207-5212. 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.
Thompson FJ, Marshall HH, Vitikainen EIK, Young AJ, Cant MA (2017). Individual and demographic consequences of mass eviction in cooperative banded mongooses. Animal Behaviour, 134, 103-112. 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). Lifetime fitness consequences of early-life ecological hardship in a wild mammal population. Ecology and Evolution, 7(6), 1712-1724. Abstract.  Full text.
Ellis S, Franks DW, Nattrass S, Cant MA, Weiss MN, Giles D, Balcomb KC, Croft DP (2017). Mortality risk and social network position in resident killer whales: Sex differences and the importance of resource abundance. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 284(1865). Abstract.  Full text.
Mitchell J, Cant MA, Nichols HJ (2017). Pregnancy is detected via odour in a wild cooperative breeder. Biol Lett, 13(11). Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Croft DP, Johnstone RA, Ellis S, Nattrass S, Franks DW, Brent LJN, Mazzi S, Balcomb KC, Ford JKB, Cant MA, et al (2017). Reproductive Conflict and the Evolution of Menopause in Killer Whales. Current Biology, 27(2), 298-304. 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, 4 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.
Mitchell J, Vitikainen EIK, Wells DA, Cant MA, Nichols HJ (2016). Heterozygosity but not inbreeding coefficient predicts parasite burdens in the banded mongoose. Journal of Zoology, 302(1), 32-39. 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.
Blount JD, Vitikainen EIK, Stott I, Cant MA (2016). Oxidative shielding and the cost of reproduction. Biological Reviews, 91(2), 483-497. Abstract.  Full text.
Thompson FJ, Marshall HH, Sanderson JL, Vitikainen EIK, Nichols HJ, Gilchrist JS, Young AJ, Hodge SJ, Cant MA (2016). Reproductive competition triggers mass eviction in cooperative banded mongooses. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 283(1826), 20152607-20152607. Full text.
Franks DW, Nattrass S, Brent LJN, Whitehead H, Foote AD, Mazzi S, Ford JKB, Balcomb KC, Cant MA, Croft DP, et al (2016). The significance of postreproductive lifespans in killer whales: a comment on Robeck et al.: Table 1. Journal of Mammalogy, 97(3), 906-909.
Marshall HH, Sanderson JL, Mwanghuya 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. Behav Ecol, 27(4), 978-987. Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.

2015

Nichols HJ, Cant MA, Sanderson JL (2015). Adjustment of costly extra-group paternity according to inbreeding risk in a cooperative mammal. Behavioral Ecology, 26(6), 1486-1494. Abstract.
Sanderson JL, Wang J, Vitikainen EIK, Cant MA, Nichols HJ (2015). Banded mongooses avoid inbreeding when mating with members of the same natal group. Molecular Ecology, 24(14), 3738-3751. Full text.
Brent LJN, Franks DW, Foster EA, Balcomb KC, Cant MA, Croft DP (2015). Ecological knowledge, leadership, and the evolution of menopause in killer whales. Current Biology, 25(6), 746-750. Abstract.  Full text.
Sanderson JL, Nichols HJ, Marshall HH, Vitikainen EIK, Thompson FJ, Walker SL, Cant MA, Young AJ (2015). Elevated glucocorticoid concentrations during gestation predict reduced reproductive success in subordinate female banded mongooses. Biol Lett, 11(10). Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Cant MA (2015). Reproductive suppression. In Whelehan P, Bolin A (Eds.) The International Encyclopedia of Human Sexuality, Oxford: John Wiley and Sons Ltd.
Croft DP, Brent LJN, Franks DW, Cant MA (2015). The evolution of prolonged life after reproduction. Trends Ecol Evol, 30(7), 407-416. Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Sanderson JL, Stott I, Young AJ, Vitikainen EIK, Hodge SJ, Cant MA (2015). The origins of consistent individual differences in cooperation in wild banded mongooses, Mungos mungo. Animal Behaviour, 107, 193-200. Abstract.

2014

Donaldson L, Thompson FJ, Field J, Cant MA (2014). Do paper wasps negotiate over helping effort?. Behavioral Ecology, 25(1), 88-94. Abstract.
Thompson FJ, Donaldson L, Johnstone RA, Field J, Cant MA (2014). Dominant aggression as a deterrent signal in paper wasps. Behavioral Ecology, 25(4), 706-715. Abstract.
Nichols HJ, Cant MA, Hoffman JI, Sanderson JL (2014). Evidence for frequent incest in a cooperatively breeding mammal. Biology Letters, 10(12), 20140898-20140898. Full text.
Sanderson JL, Young AJ, Hodge SJ, Kyabulima S, Walker SL, Cant MA (2014). Hormonal mediation of a carry-over effect in a wild cooperative mammal. Functional Ecology, 28(6), 1377-1386. Abstract.
Cant MA, Nichols HJ, Johnstone RA, Hodge SJ (2014). Policing of reproduction by hidden threats in a cooperative mammal. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 111(1), 326-330. Abstract.  Author URL.
Port M, Cant MA (2014). Reproductive Competition Among Males in Multimale Groups of Primates: Modeling the Costs and Effectiveness of Conflict. International Journal of Primatology, 35(3-4), 746-763. Abstract.
Bell MBV, Cant MA, Borgeaud C, Thavarajah N, Samson J, Clutton-Brock TH (2014). Suppressing subordinate reproduction provides benefits to dominants in cooperative societies of meerkats. Nat Commun, 5 Abstract.  Author URL.
Green JP, Cant MA, Field J (2014). Using social parasitism to test reproductive skew models in a primitively eusocial wasp. Proc Biol Sci, 281(1789). Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.

2013

Cant MA (2013). Cooperative breeding. In  (Ed) The Princeton Guide to Evolution, Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Cant MA, Vitikainen E, Nichols HJ (2013). Demography and social evolution of banded mongooses. Advances in the Study of Behavior, 45, 407-445. Abstract.
Port M, Cant MA (2013). Longevity suppresses conflict in animal societies. Biol Lett, 9(5). Abstract.  Author URL.
Cant MA, Young AJ (2013). Resolving social conflict among females without overt aggression. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci, 368(1631). Abstract.  Author URL.
Jansen DAWAM, Cant MA, Manser MB (2013). Testing for vocal individual discrimination in adult banded mongooses. Journal of Zoology, 291(3), 171-177. Abstract.
Cant MA, Gilchrist JS (2013). The banded mongoose (Mungos Mungo). In Kingdon J, Happold D, Butynski TM, Hoffmann M, Happold M, Kalina J (Eds.) The Mammals of Africa V: Carnivores, Pangolins, Equids and Rhinoceroses, London: a & C Black Publishers, 354-360.

2012

Cant MA (2012). Cooperative breeding systems. In Royle NJ, Smiseth PT, Koelliker M (Eds.) The Evolution of Parental Care, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 206-225.
Nichols HJ, Jordan NR, Jamie GA, Cant MA, Hoffman JI (2012). Fine-scale spatiotemporal patterns of genetic variation reflect budding dispersal coupled with strong natal philopatry in a cooperatively breeding mammal. Molecular Ecology, 21(21), 5348-5362. Abstract.
Nichols HJ, Amos W, Bell MBV, Mwanguhya F, Kyabulima S, Cant MA (2012). Food availability shapes patterns of helping effort in a cooperative mongoose. Animal Behaviour, 83(6), 1377-1385. Abstract.
Nichols HJ, Bell MBV, Hodge SJ, Cant MA (2012). Resource limitation moderates the adaptive suppression of subordinate breeding in a cooperatively breeding mongoose. Behavioral Ecology, 23(3), 635-642. Abstract.
Jansen DAWAM, Cant MA, Manser MB (2012). Segmental concatenation of individual signatures and context cues in banded mongoose (Mungos mungo) close calls. BMC Biol, 10 Abstract.  Author URL.
Johnstone RA, Cant MA, Field J (2012). Sex-biased dispersal, haplodiploidy and the evolution of helping in social insects. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 279(1729), 787-793. Abstract.
Cant MA (2012). Suppression of social conflict and evolutionary transitions to cooperation. Am Nat, 179(2), 293-301. Abstract.  Author URL.
Bell MBV, Nichols HJ, Gilchrist JS, Cant MA, Hodge SJ (2012). The cost of dominance: Suppressing subordinate reproduction affects the reproductive success of dominant female banded mongooses. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 279(1728), 619-624. Abstract.

2011

Abbot P, Abe J, Alcock J, Alizon S, Alpedrinha JAC, Andersson M, Andre JB, Van Baalen M, Balloux F, Balshine S, et al (2011). Inclusive fitness theory and eusociality. Nature, 471(7339).
Furrer RD, Kyabulima S, Willems EP, Cant MA, Manser MB (2011). Location and group size influence decisions in simulated intergroup encounters in banded mongooses. Behavioral Ecology, 22(3), 493-500. Abstract.
Hodge SJ, Bell MBV, Cant MA (2011). Reproductive competition and the evolution of extreme birth synchrony in a cooperative mammal. Biology Letters, 7(1), 54-56. Abstract.
Jordan NR, Manser MB, Mwanguhya F, Kyabulima S, Rüedi P, Cant MA (2011). Scent marking in wild banded mongooses: 1. Sex-specific scents and overmarking. Animal Behaviour, 81(1), 31-42. Abstract.
Jordan NR, Mwanguhya F, Furrer RD, Kyabulima S, Rüedi P, Cant MA (2011). Scent marking in wild banded mongooses: 2. Intrasexual overmarking and competition between males. Animal Behaviour, 81(1), 43-50. Abstract.
Jordan NR, Mwanguhya F, Kyabulima S, Rüedi P, Hodge SJ, Cant MA (2011). Scent marking in wild banded mongooses: 3. Intrasexual overmarking in females. Animal Behaviour, 81(1), 51-60. Abstract.
Cant MA (2011). The role of threats in animal cooperation. Proc Biol Sci, 278(1703), 170-178. Abstract.  Author URL.

2010

Müller CA, Cant MA (2010). Imitation and traditions in wild banded mongooses. Current Biology, 20(13), 1171-1175. Abstract.
Cant MA, Hodge SJ, Bell MBV, Gilchrist JS, Nichols HJ (2010). Reproductive control via eviction (but not the threat of eviction) in banded mongooses. Proc Biol Sci, 277(1691), 2219-2226. Abstract.  Author URL.
Jordan NR, Mwanguhya F, Kyabulima S, Rueedi P, Cant MA (2010). Scent marking within and between groups of wild banded mongooses. JOURNAL OF ZOOLOGY, 280(1), 72-83. Author URL.
Johnstone RA, Cant MA (2010). The evolution of menopause in cetaceans and humans: the role of demography. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 277(1701), 3765-3771. Abstract.
Nichols HJ, Amos W, Cant MA, Bell MBV, Hodge SJ (2010). Top males gain high reproductive success by guarding more successful females in a cooperatively breeding mongoose. Animal Behaviour, 80(4), 649-657. Abstract.

2009

Cant MA, Johnstone RA (2009). How threats influence the evolutionary resolution of within-group conflict. American Naturalist, 173(6), 759-771. Abstract.  Full text.
Johnstone R, Cant, M.A. (2009). Models of reproductive skew: outside options and the resolution of reproductive conflict. In Hager R, Jones CB (Eds.) Reproductive Skew in Vertebrates, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 3-23.  Abstract.
Cant MA, Johnstone RA, Russell AF (2009). Reproductive conflict and the evolution of menopause. In Hager R, Jones CB (Eds.) Reproductive Skew in Vertebrates, in Reproductive Skew in Vertebrates: Cambridge University Press, 24-52.  Abstract.
Field J, Cant, M.A. (2009). Reproductive skew in primitively eusocial insects: lessons for vertebrates. In Hager R, Jones CB (Eds.) Reproductive Skew in Vertebrates, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 305-334.  Abstract.
Field J, Cant MA (2009). Social stability and helping in small animal societies. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 364(1533), 3181-3189. Abstract.

2008

Cant MA, Johnstone RA (2008). Reproductive conflict and the separation of reproductive generations in humans. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 105(14), 5332-5336. Abstract.  Author URL.
Johnstone RA, Cant MA (2008). Sex differences in dispersal and the evolution of helping and harming. Am Nat, 172(3), 318-330. Abstract.  Author URL.

2007

Field J, Cant MA (2007). Direct fitness, reciprocity and helping: a perspective from primitively eusocial wasps. Behavioural Processes, 76(2), 160-162.
Buston PM, Reeve HK, Cant MA, Vehrencamp SL, Emlen ST (2007). Reproductive skew and the evolution of group dissolution tactics: a synthesis of concession and restraint models. Animal Behaviour, 74(6), 1643-1654. Abstract.

2006

Buston PM, Cant MA (2006). A new perspective on size hierarchies in nature: Patterns, causes, and consequences. Oecologia, 149(2), 362-372. Abstract.
Cant MA (2006). A tale of two theories: Parent-offspring conflict and reproductive skew. Animal Behaviour, 71(2), 255-263. Abstract.
Cant MA, Shen SF (2006). Endogenous timing in competitive interactions among relatives. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 273(1583), 171-178. Abstract.
Cant MA, English S, Reeve HK, Field J (2006). Escalated conflict in a social hierarchy. Proc Biol Sci, 273(1604), 2977-2984. Abstract.  Author URL.
Field J, Cant MA (2006). Helping effort in primitively eusocial wasps. Annales Zoologici Fennici, 43, 481-487.
Cant MA, Llop JB, Field J (2006). Individual variation in social aggression and the probability of inheritance: theory and a field test. Am Nat, 167(6), 837-852. Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Cant MA, Johnstone RA (2006). Self-serving punishment and the evolution of cooperation. J Evol Biol, 19(5), 1383-1385. Author URL.
Cant MA, English S (2006). Stable group size in cooperative breeders: the role of inheritance and reproductive skew. Behavioral Ecology, 17(4), 560-568. Abstract.

2005

Cant MA, Field J (2005). Helping effort in a dominance hierarchy. Behavioral Ecology, 16(4), 708-715. Abstract.

2003

Shreeves G, Cant MA, Bolton A, Field J (2003). Insurance-based advantages for subordinate co-foundresses in a temperate paper wasp. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 270(1524), 1617-1622. Abstract.
Cant MA (2003). Patterns of helping effort in co-operatively breeding banded mongooses (Mungos mungo). Journal of Zoology, 259(2), 115-121. Abstract.

2002

Cant MA, Reeve HK (2002). Female control of the distribution of paternity in cooperative breeders. American Naturalist, 160(5), 602-611. Abstract.
Cant MA, Otali E, Mwanguhya F (2002). Fighting and mating between groups in a cooperatively breeding mammal, the banded mongoose. Ethology, 108(6), 541-555. Abstract.

2001

Cant MA, Otali E, Mwanguhya F (2001). Eviction and dispersal in co-operatively breeding banded mongooses (Mungos mungo). Journal of Zoology, 254(2), 155-162. Abstract.
Cant MA, Field J (2001). Helping effort and future fitness in cooperative animal societies. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 268(1479), 1959-1964. Abstract.

2000

Cant MA, Johnstone RA (2000). Power Struggles, Dominance Testing, and Reproductive Skew. Am Nat, 155(3), 406-417. Abstract.  Author URL.
Cant MA (2000). Social control of reproduction in banded mongooses. Anim Behav, 59(1), 147-158. Abstract.  Author URL.

1999

Cant MA, Johnstone RA (1999). Costly young and reproductive skew in animal societies. Behavioral Ecology, 10(2), 178-184. Abstract.
Johnstone RA, Cant MA (1999). Reproductive skew and indiscriminate infanticide. Anim Behav, 57(1), 243-249. Abstract.  Author URL.
Johnstone RA, Cant MA (1999). Reproductive skew and the threat of eviction: a new perspective. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 266(1416), 275-279. Abstract.
Johnstone RA, Woodroffe R, Cant MA, Wright J (1999). Reproductive skew in multimember groups. American Naturalist, 153(3), 315-331. Abstract.

1998

Cant MA (1998). A model for the evolution of reproductive skew without reproductive suppression. Animal Behaviour, 55(1), 163-169. Abstract.

1995

McLachlan A, Cant M (1995). Small males are more symmetrical: mating success in the midge Chironomus plumosus (Diptera:Chrinomidae). Animal Behaviour, 50, 748-755.
McLachlan A, Cant M (1995). Small males are more symmetrical: mating success in the midge Chironomus plumosus L. (Diptera: Chironomidae). Animal Behaviour, 50(3), 841-846.

mike_cant Details from cache as at 2018-08-20 00:42:50

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Committee/panel activities

NERC Peer Review College, 2009- present

Panel Member, NERC Standard Research Grant Moderating Panel D Dec 2015

Panel Member, NERC Fellowships panel, June 2011

Panel Member, NERC Standard Research Grant Moderating Panel A June 2010

Panel Member, NERC Standard Research Grant Moderating Panel D Nov 2009

Assessor, Fund for Scientific Research, (F.R.S.-FNRS), Belgium, June 2013 - present

Assessor, Australian Research Council National Competitive Grants, July 2013 - present 

Assessor, ERC LS8 Panel, FP-7 Advanced Research Grants, 2011

Panel Member, Royal Society Working Group on UK/Tanzania Research, London 2008

Panel Member, Royal Society Working Group on UK/Tanzania Research, Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania 2008


Invited lectures

I have given over 40 invited seminars at universities worldwide, including the Universities of Harvard, Cornell, Berkeley, UC Davis, Tokyo, Sydney, Oslo, Goettingen, Max Planck Leipzig, Groningen, Zurich, Neuchatel, Bern and Seville.

Plenaries, workshops

2017 Course lecturer, Animal Behavior Workshop, Animal Behavior Society of China, Institute of Zoology, Beijing

2015 Plenary Speaker, 5th Conference of the Animal Behavior Society of China, Beijing

2012 Plenary speaker, Prodoc workshop, Beatenberg, Switzerland

2012 Plenary speaker, Ethology Investigates online conference, Wiley Associates

2011 Plenary speaker, 'Cooperation and conflict',Conference of the Ethological Society, Zurich, Switzerland

2008 Plenary speaker, Meeting of the Japanese Evolution Society, University of Tokyo, Japan

2010 Invited speaker, Behavioural Ecology Workshop, McQuarie University, Sydney Australia

2010 Invited speaker, 'Are Humans Cooperative Breeders?' ISBE Symposium, Perth, Australia

2009 Invited speaker, ESEB Symposium, Evolution of Conflict and Cooperation , Turin, Italy

2008 Invited speaker, ESF Workshop on Evolution of Cooperation and Mutualisms, Lisbon, Portugal

2007 Invited speaker, CUSO Workshop on the Evolution of Cooperation, Bern University, Switzerland

2007 Invited speaker, Evolutionary Biology Graduate Workshop, Bristol University, UK

2000 Invited speaker, Reproductive Skew Workshop, Cornell University, USA


Media Coverage

2009-2010 Series Consultant: Banded Brothers: the mongoose mob

My long term research project on banded mongoose inspired a prime-time BBC2 documentary series which was screened in February and March 2010. The BBC spent six months at the Uganda study site filming the mongooses, resulting in four one-hour documentaries which each drew an audience of 1.5 million in the UK. The series has since been sold to over 20 territories worldwide with an estimated global audience of >20 million. This media impact of my NERC funded research project was featured as the number 1 'Knowledge Transfer Highlight' in NERC's 2010 Annual Report.

Our study of imitation and traditions in banded mongooses (Muller & Cant 2010 Current Biology) was covered by features in New Scientist and Scientific American, The LA Times, New York Times, The Times, The Independent, The Telegraph, and national newspapers worldwide. I have given radio interviews about the banded mongoose work to BBC Radio 4 The Natural History Programme, BBC Radio Cornwall; and a TV interview to BBC Spotlight.

My research on the evolution of menopause was the subject of a full length feature (plus interview) in New Scientist in December 2008, and a feature plus interview in Scientific American. In addition the study was covered by BBC News, The Times, The Guardian, The Independent, The Telegraph, The Daily Mirror, The Daily Mail, The Daily Express, plus newspapers in 20+ countries worldwide. I also gave live radio interviews about the work (RTE Ireland April 2008; Deutsche Radio Today, April 2008). Follow up research on the evolution of menopause in cetaceans was covered by all major UK national newspapers and BBC News.

 

Year 2

  • Module Coordinator: Behavioural Ecology (BIO2430)

Year 3

  • Module Coordinator: MSc Kenya Field Course (BIOM4019)

 

Postdoctoral researchers

Postgraduate researchers

  • Alex Brown
  • Feargus Cooney Cooney
  • Beth Preston
  • Catherine Sheppard
  • Faye Thompson

Research Technicians

  • Emma Davey

Alumni

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