Juliette Frappier-Lecomte

Université de Sherbrooke
M.Sc. candidate

Supervisor: Dany Garant
Patrick Bergeron
Start: 2021-09-01
End: 2023-12-22
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Influence of relatedness in mate choice in eastern chipmunks (Tamias striatus)
In animal populations, mate choice is defined as an individual preference for a member of the opposite sex. It is an important mechanism that has evolved through sexual selection influencing reproductive success and survival of individuals in a population. In particular, mate choice can be used as an inbreeding avoidance strategy by recognizing related individuals. The objective of my master's project is to evaluate the influence of relatedness in mate choice and how this relationship fluctuates with environmental changes in a population of eastern chipmunks (Tamias striatus) in southern Québec. First, the relationship between genetic relatedness and mate choice will be evaluated. Then, the effect of relatedness among partners will be assessed by comparing reproductive success of adults from pairing between related and unrelated individuals. Finally, I will assess the effect of cohort and reproductive years on the degree of relatedness between sexual partners. My project will help providing a better understanding of the processes influencing sexual selection in a natural population of small solitary rodents.


mate choice, rodents, inbreeding, Tamias striatus