Resolving sexual conflict: Behavioural mechanisms underlying parental coordination

Davide Baldan

Research output: Thesisinternal PhD, WU


The aim of this thesis is to investigate the behavioural mechanisms underlying pair coordination over parental care. For more than twenty years, theoretical and empirical work suggested that parents and offspring would inevitably suffer as a result of a sexual conflict between parents over the individual levels of parental investment. However, a recent theory proposed that a form of parental coordination, turn-taking during offspring provisioning, could lead to conflict resolution. Using a bi-parental songbird and an automatic radio-tracking system, I investigated the behavioural mechanisms generating parental provisioning patterns. The main finding of this thesis is that the provisioning pattern of nest visits is a flexible behaviour and is mainly created by coordination between the parents during both foraging movements and nest visits. These results provide support for a novel perspective in which sexual conflict can be resolved through cooperation rather than conflict.

Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Wageningen University
  • Visser, M.E., Promotor
  • Hinde, C., Co-promotor
Award date18 Jan 2019
Place of PublicationWageningen
Print ISBNs9789463435376
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jan 2019


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