The Alpine Marmot Project

Welcome to the Alpine Marmot Project

Valentine Féderico


PhD  – Université Claude-Bernard – Lyon1


tel. : +33(0)4 72 43 35 84
fax : +33(0)4 72 43 13 88

Biométrie et Biologie Évolutive
UCB Lyon 1 – Bât. Grégor Mendel
43 bd du 11 novembre 1918
69622 VILLEURBANNE cedex


Cooperative breeding refers to social systems in which only dominant individuals breed, and are assisted in caring for their offspring by non-breeding individuals, who forego dispersal and breeding and remain in their natal group as helpers. In mammals, such systems are rare (<1% of species) but found in various orders (carnivores, primates, rodents).

A number of studies conducted on mammals and birds have identified social traits (i.e monogamy) life history traits (i.e polytocy) and ecological variables (i.e low precipitation rates) involved in the evolution of cooperative breeding. However, little attention has been paid so far to the coevolution of the three constitutive traits of cooperative breeding (delayed dispersal, reproductive suppression and alloparenting).

My thesis project such focuses on the following questions:

  1. Reconstructing evolutionary pathways to cooperative breeding in mammals by studying the coevolution of delayed dispersal, reproductive suppression and alloparenting in the mammalian orders that display cooperatively breeding species.

  2. Evaluate the impact of ecology and life history on the constitutive traits of cooperative breeding and their coevolution.


Contrat doctoral spécifique normalien (2016-2019)


Cohas A., Rey B., Federico V.,Regis C., Lardy S., Bichet C. (2018) Stress levels of dominants reflect underlying conflicts with subordinates in a cooperatively breeding species. pdf


Federico V., Cohas A., Gaillard J-M., Lemaître J-F., Allainé D. (2018) Evolutionary pathways to cooperative breeding in Mammals: The role of ecology, International Conference on Ecological Sciences, Rennes, October 22-25. Oral communication

Federico V., Allainé D., Lemaître J-F., Liker A., Gaillard J-M., Szekely T. (2018) Estimating sex ratio in wild mammalian populations, Evolutionary demography society, Lyon, January 8-10. Poster


“expliquer la reproduction coopérative” #MT180. Video