PhD students

former PhD students
Elisa Chiarati
Rubén Vera Gómez
Diana Bolopo

Masters StudentsCollaboratorsChristian Rutz
Mark Johnson
Claudia Wascher











Daniela Canestrari

First degree:
Natural Sciences (University of Pavia , Italy)
Biology (University of Cambridge , UK)
Post Doctoral positions:

Post Doctoral Researcher (Juan de la Cierva Program - Ministry of Education and Science; University of Granada, Department of Animal Biology, Spain)
University of Valladolid (Spain)
Current position:
Assistant professor (prof ayudante doctor)
University of Oviedo - UMIB (Spain)

Current address:
Unidad Mixta de Investigación en Biodiversidad
Universidad de Oviedo - Campus de Mieres
Edificio de Investigación - 5ª planta
C. Gonzalo Gutiérrez Quirós s/n
33600 Mieres


Research Unit of Biodiversity - Unidad Mixta de Investigación en Biodiversidad (Spain)
University of Oviedo

Daniela Canestrari


Research Interests and Main Results

I have been investigating cooperative behaviour of carrion crows since 1999, when I started my Master at Pavia University ( Italy ). I obtained my PhD in Cambridge (UK) in 2005, studying the factors determining the division of labour among crow group members. In cooperative crow groups, some individuals (the dominant pair and most adult male immigrants) have access to reproduction, while others (retained offspring and immature immigrants) do not breed and may obtain indirect fitness benefits from helping at the nest. I analysed the individual trade-off between benefits and costs of care through behavioural observations and experimental manipulations.

My current research focuses on the relationship between brood parasitism (when a bird species lays its eggs in the nest of another species, the host) and host social behaviour. Cooperative crows are parasitized by the Great spotted cuckoo Clamator glandarius , a brood parasite specialised in corvids. I am currently analysing the costs of brood parasitism on cooperative crows, the effect of group size on cuckoo reproductive success, and the effect of group size on parasitism rate, in order to investigate whether cooperative host behaviour represents a benefit or a disadvantage for the brood parasite.