Innovation: from diffusion to fitness consequences

Innovation is the ability to produce new behaviours or to apply novel solutions to old problems, introducing novel variants into a population's behavioural repertoire. While individual animals often produce innovations, only a few of these novel behavioural variants are transmitted, maintained, adopted and integrated in the population’s repertoire.

To increase our understanding of the evolutionary importance of innovativeness, as well as the role of individual characteristics in the diffusion of innovations within populations, we analyse the interplay between personality, innovation propensity and spread of innovations in replicated populations of house mice (Mus musculus domesticus) living under semi-natural conditions.

This project was jointly developed with Dr. Anja Guenther and is funded by the German Science Foundation (DFG) (GU 1665/5-1 | MA 9757/2-1).