The evolutionary genetics of social dominance in mountain goats, Oreamnos americanus

This ungulate research project uses molecular markers to reconstruct the pedigree of a wild mountain goat (Oreamnos americanus) population near Grande Cache, Alberta, in collaboration with Steve Côté (Laval University), Kirby Smith (Alberta Department of Environmental Protection) and Marco Festa-Bianchet. In this population we are planning to investigate the quantitative genetic basis of social dominance. Evolutionary theory predicts that behavioural traits related to social dominance may have relatively low heritability due to past selection and high levels of integration. The aim of this project is to use advanced quantitative genetic analyses to test the idea that traits associated with social dominance are genetically variable yet less heritable than morphometric traits.


Amy Llewellyn (2003-2004)


Dr Dave Coltman


Steve Côté (Laval University, Quebec, Canada)
Kirby Smith (Alberta Department of Environmental Protection, Canada)
Marco Festa-Bianchet (Université de Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada)

Other personnel involved in the project

Kirsty Worley (2002-2003, University of Sheffield)

This project is funded by the Natural Environmental Research Council.