Shen’s Lab

Our laboratory’s research has been focused on how the ecology shapes the cooperation and conflict in animal societies, and how social behaviors affects their ecological and demographic consequences. Our study species include cooperatively breeding birds, Taiwan yuhinas Yuhina brunneiceps in Taiwan, gray-capped social weavers Pseudonigrita arnaudi in Kenya, and burying beetles Nicrophorus nepalensis Hope 1831 in Asia.

Currently, we are studying the influences of ecology on social behaviors of different populations of burying beetles along mountain and latitudinal gradients in Taiwan, China and Japan. In the process of conducting large-scale ecological studies, we realize that behaviors have important effects on population distribution boundaries, range size, and population dynamics. Therefore, in the past few years, we have expanded our research to study macroecology. The taxa we study include birds, burying beetles, moths, and sharks. We hope to understand how ecology influences trait evolution (including behavioral, physiological, and morphological traits) and thereby understand large-scale spatial and temporal patterns of biodiversity distribution.

Siyuan Pass, Taiwan 思源啞口 Photo credit: 沈彥綸 Y.-L. Shen