• Research Center in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources

    InBIO Associate Laboratory

    Research Center in  Biodiversity and Genetic Resources
  • Research Center in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources

    InBIO Associate Laboratory

    Research Center in  Biodiversity and Genetic Resources
  • Research Center in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources

    InBIO Associate Laboratory

    Research Center in  Biodiversity and Genetic Resources
  • Research Center in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources

    InBIO Associate Laboratory

    Research Center in  Biodiversity and Genetic Resources
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
RITA COVAS HAS BEEN AWARDED A CONSOLIDATOR GRANT FROM THE EUROPEAN RESEARCH COUNCIL (ERC)
CIBIO-InBIO researcher Rita Covas was one of the four scientists currently working in Portugal who have been awarded the prestigious Consolidator Grants (worth two million euros), given out this year by the European Research Council (ERC).
 

The work developed by this scientist over the past two decades aims to understand the mechanisms that allow for the evolution and maintenance of cooperation within societies. As a case-study for this investigation, Rita studies the behaviour of sociable weavers - Philetairus socius, which are small birds from Kalahari.


Cooperation is intriguing from an evolutionary perspective, since cooperating is beneficial for the group but can have a cost to the cooperating individual. However, cooperation is common in nature, from micro-organisms all the way to human societies. Understanding what allows for the evolution and maintenance of cooperation is, therefore, a fundamental part of evolutionary biology”, explained Rita Covas. This project aims to understand whether more cooperative individuals are preferred as sexual or social partners, which would provide an explanantion for why cooperation is maintained.


The awarding of this grant is, according to the researcher, “extremely important”, not only because it provides the financial conditions to carry out the project and address these new questions, but also because “this project was the result of a teamwork effort that has been developing for over 10 years, and it is extremely rewarding to see our work and persistence paying off! It is also important for the host institution the CIBIO-InBIO, both because of the financial contribution, and because of the prestige associated to this prize, which can contribute to increase the institution’s visibility”.

 

Posted in 2019-12-29